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Berkeley Springs “church ladies” become calendar girls

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — A group of women in Berkeley Springs who recently produced a 2016 calendar said they were inspired by “Calendar Girls,” a racy British film about a group of refined women who wanted to raise money for charity by posing for a calendar in the somewhat altogether.

The women from the nondenominational Unity Church of Berkeley Springs came up with an idea for the “Church Ladies Scrapbook Calendar 2016” featuring themselves as models similar to those in the British film, with one exception.

“We’ll be wearing clothes,” said Marcia George, who with fellow member Michele Smith co-directed the calendar’s production.
They are, after all, church ladies.

“We had no idea producing a calendar would be so involved,” George said. “We started working on it in January. There was a lot of interest among the women in our church. About 15 volunteered to pose for the calendar.”

The calendar represents life in Berkeley Springs in the 1950s, George said. The period clothes worn by the models and background scenes reflect those themes.

Names given to the models, common for the times, included Opal, Florence, Edna, Bertha, Thelma, Mabel, Olive, Rose, Pearl, Essie, Cornelia and Wilhelmina.
Each calendar month loosely represents familiar events, places or attractions, including the Morgan County Courthouse, Berkeley Springs Farmers’ Market, Star Theater, Roy’s Service Center, the New Earth Granary and the Country Inn.

The calendars sell for $12 and can be bought by calling George at 304-258-0754 or by sending an email to
Proceeds from sales will go to local charities and the church’s outreach program.
“Whenever we’re needed, our people show up,” George said
The church has between 30 and 50 members, she added.
The church was organized in 2011 by Pastor Anne Murphy-Oswald with six or seven members, Smith said.
The congregation meets Sunday mornings at the New Earth Granary.

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