The presence of the light

Paintings are not only for looking at: they can be used to inspire group discussion; as a focus for prayer, either on their own or linked to a display or installation; as a focal point in workshops to inspire other art forms; or to link parts of a sermon.

Have you considered using your church to host an exhibition of paintings with a Christian theme?

Community artist and ArtServe member Mary Hayman sent us this lovely photo of one of her works.

The Painted WordThe Painted Word by John Reilly

Some plates from the book are reproduced at the end of this review.

If you like creative imagery then this is an absolute gem of a book to own.

Kate Austin runs pray-and-paint workshops and quiet days, and hosts art exhibitions. Her website is called ChristArt and can be found in our weblinks. The figure against the golden background - our 'paintings' thumbnail image is also by Kate. Each of her paintings is accompanied by a verse and she hopes you will find the following example useful.

The Nuns of Turvey Abbey produce a number of sets of posters and CDs with inspiring artwork on a number of different themes.

The Methodist Modern Art Collection is another wonderful online resource consisting of over 40 works by renowned artists such as Graham Sutherland, Norman Adams and Elizabeth Frink. A DVD entitled Creative Spirit is available to assist in using several of the works from the collection.


Claire Hackwood has contributed some of her pictures for the website and has written an explanation to accompany each picture. Clare introduces herself as follows:

I am a Christian artist working in the West Midlands and a member of Grace Vineyard Church Walsall, part of the Vineyard Churches movement. I have always had a keen interest in the visual arts and, as such, I read Art History at the University of Nottingham and studied Fine Art at A-level.

Creative Spirit is a series of eight study sessions based on the Methodist Modern Art Collection. The studies are provided on disc, along with a booklet containing questions, prayers, Bible readings, leader's notes, and more.

The studies are designed to encourage people to respond imaginatively and creatively to the Bible from a non-didactic approach. Creative Spirit is compiled by Sarah Middleton, Elizabeth Moore, David Hollingsworth and Neil Thorogood who are artists and educationalists from within the Methodist Church, Church of England and United Reformed Church.