Thursday 20 January 2011

Launch of the Art Trail for the Barking Episcopal Area

The Art Trail for the Barking Episcopal Area is to be launched at St Paul Goodmayes on Thursday 17th February at 12.00 noon.
This Art Trail, which will publicise the extent to which churches in the Barking Episcopal Area of the Diocese of Chelmsford contain significant art and craft works, will be launched jointly by the Bishops of Chelmsford and Barking. You are invited to join them for the launch reception.

The Bishop of Barking says, “for centuries the Arts have been an important medium through which public communication of the faith has taken place and the Church has had a lengthy and happy marriage with the Arts.” Created by commission4mission with funding from London-over-the-Border, this Art Trail demonstrates that the long relationship between the Church and the Arts continues today as it includes work by significant twentieth century artists such as Eric Gill, Hans Feibusch, John Hutton and John Piper, together with contemporary work by the like of Mark Cazalet, Jane Quail and Henry Shelton.

The visual arts can contribute to the mission of the Church by speaking eloquently of the Christian faith; providing a reason for people to visit a church; making a link between churches and local arts organisations/initiatives and providing a focus around which local people can come together for a shared activity. For these, and other, reasons there are more than 30 churches in the Barking Episcopal Area which have significant artworks on show and which are included on the Art Trail.

A leaflet documenting the Art Trail , which has been researched and developed by commission4mission member, artist and Fine Arts lecturer, Mark Lewis, will publicise the Trail and provide information about the featured artists and churches.

commission4mission exists, in the words of its Chairperson, Henry Shelton, to offer "quality work and craftsmanship, rather than mass-produced work, to continue the legacy of the Church as a great commissioner of art." Through this new Art Trail , we hope that the eyes of visitors to churches and church members alike will be opened to the continuing legacy of the Church as a significant commissioner of art.

We look forward to seeing you on 17th February. Please RSVP to or 020 8599 2170.

Sunday 9 January 2011

Dedication: Windows by Caroline Richardson

The second dedication in a week of a completed commission4mission commission took place this evening at St Peter's Harold Wood when two fused glass windows created by Caroline Richardson were dedicated by the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt. Revd. Stephen Cottrell.

Caroline has created a flowing complementary design focussing on light and water for the two windows in the north transept of the church which incorporates in one the text of John 8. 12 and in the other of John 10. 10. In both, the design has darker colours at the base grading upwards to lighter and finally plain glass at the apex. As the photos above were taken after the Evening Service, they do not show the colour of the windows to their best effect.

The windows were created using glass panels which were cut to pattern and fired in a kiln in order to fuse the glass before being placed into stainless steel frame designed to fit into the window arches thereby sitting in front of the existing glass. 

The north transept is opposite what is now the main entrance to the church following an extensive building project on the south side of the church. The windows and their texts are intended as vibrant and welcoming visual statements of faith for all who enter the church and this element of the commission was used by Bishop Stephen in his prayer of dedication.

An earlier commission by David Henningham of the Henningham Family Press - a set of four linked screenprints - can also be found at St Peter's Harold Wood in the newly built Hub which is now the entrance to the church, its facilities and services. It is of real encouragement to see a church integrating artistic commissions into what has been an ambitious and stretching redevelopment.

Monday 3 January 2011

Dedication of 'The Baptism of Jesus'

Yesterday, Revd. Jonathan Evens dedicated 'The Baptism of Jesus' by Rosalind Hore which his family have donated to St Edmunds Tyseley, through commission4mission, in memory of his father, Revd. Phil Evens, Vicar of Tyseley from 1989 - 1999.

Jonathan introduced the painting and its donation to the congregation as follows:

"The painting that is to be dedicated today has come to be here through commission4mission, a Christian Arts organization which aims to encourage the commissioning and placing of contemporary Christian Art in churches, as a means of fundraising for charities and as a mission opportunity for the churches involved. commission4mission promotes the purchase of works of art by churches through donations given in memory of loved ones. This painting has been donated by our family in memory of the Revd. Phil Evens, in remembrance of his ministry here as your Vicar.

The artist who created this painting, Rosalind Hore, is a sculptor and painter of Christian subjects – Christ figures, nativity sets, Ecce Homo, Stations of the Cross etc. She works in clay, plaster, concrete (figures can also be bronze cast at the foundry). Her paintings are mostly in acrylic of the events in the life of Christ. She has been an art teacher throughout her working life, has taken part in the Cambridge Open Studios (creating a sculpture garden and art gallery at her home) and has led art groups and projects in the parishes where she has lived. She has a sculpture in the Bible Garden at St Mary's Goring-by-Sea and another currently displayed at St Laurence Upminister, where her husband is Rector.

Rosalind’s painting of ‘The Baptism of Jesus’ sees water, fish, cross, crown, dove, fire and light – all the signs and symbols of Jesus’ future ministry – swept up together to coalesce around the baptised Jesus. Vigorous movement and vibrant colour combine to depict the glory of the Son who is here commissioned by the Father and empowered by the Spirit."

Jonathan then reflected on those two aspects of Jesus’ baptism – the Father’s call and the Spirit’s empowering – using thoughts and prayers from material that his father had in his ministry at Tyseley. Click here to read the full sermon given by Jonathan.

The prayer of dedication used was as follows: Lord Jesus, we thank you for the vision of you which we see in this painting. We pray that, as we see it week in, week out here in St Edmunds, it may inspire us to respond to the call of God on our lives and to pray to be filled with the Spirit in order that we live out that call in our daily lives. We thank you for Rosalind Hore and for her response to you which created this painting. We thank you too for Phil Evens, in whose memory it is given to this church, and for his example of following your call in his life. Lord Jesus, we dedicate this painting of your baptism to you and your glory in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The next dedication of a commission4mission commission will be a thanksgiving for the creation and witness of Caroline Richardson's fused glass windows at St Peter's Harold Wood as part of the Evening Service at the church on Sunday 9th January 2011 at 6.30pm. The preacher at the service will be Rt. Revd. Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford.