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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Journey at All Hallows by the Tower

























"JOURNEY" - 16-27 October, 10am-5pm daily

All Hallows by the Tower is hosting the contemporary art exhibition ‘Journey’, which comprises a mix of abstract and representational work in a variety of media by 23 artists.

The imagery ranges from the journey of life to geographical journeys, the journey of plastics in the oceans and the Stations of the Cross, among others.

The exhibition is organised by commission4mission, a group which encourages churches to commission contemporary art.

Open daily 10-5 (except during services); admission free.

The above photographs are by David Millidge.

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Monday, 15 October 2018

Private View of 'Journey' at All Hallows by the Tower














‘Journey’ is commission4mission's latest group show which opened tonight at All Hallows by the Tower with a Private View. Former Bishop of Barking David Hawkins celebrated 10 years since the initial conversation between Henry Shelton and himself from which sparked into life the idea of commission4mission. He suggested that the development of commission4mission indicates that the good, the true and the beautiful are profoundly attractive characteristics of both God and the arts.

The exhibition runs from Tuesday 16 to Saturday 27 October and can be viewed during the church’s normal opening hours – Mon – Fri 10.00am – 6.00pm, Sat – Sun 10.00am – 5.00pm (except during services).

The title and theme for the exhibition can be understood in terms of journeys that are emotional, pilgrimage, personal, biblical etc. We encouraged our artists to reflect broadly on the theme and 23 artists have responded with imagery that ranges from birth and death (the journey of life) to geographical journeys (including street scenes), plastic pollution (blown or washed around the globe), and Stations of the Cross, among others. A mix of abstract and representational imagery has been created, utilising ceramics, collage, digital illustration, drawing, painting, photography and sculpture.



‘6 years and 26 miles’ by Hayley Bowen depicts the pilgrimage of 15 year old Mary Jones, a girl from a poor Welsh family, who in the year 1800 walked 26 miles barefoot to the town of Bala (and back again) across rough countryside to buy a copy of the Welsh language Bible from The Rev.Thomas Charles after saving up for one for six years. The story inspired the founding of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

David Hawkins and Dorothy Morris both make use of household plastics in their work. David writes: “2018 has seen carrier bags become the latest culprits of pollution. Yet, backlit by the sun they become angels, and remind us to look for ‘heaven in ordinary’. The Celts celebrated the sacred in everyday life. Even our plastic bags ‘caught in a thicket’ can pose as messengers on Jacob’s ladder, in Mary’s parlour or over the shepherds’ fields. As Donald Allchin used to say, ‘the mundane is the edge of glory’.”

Dorothy Morris says of her work: “These little paintings tell the story of the journey of our household plastics ending up polluting our seas. I live in an idyllic place by an estuary and one day I went for a 20 minute walk and collected 3 bin bags of rubbish! From this walk I have created 30 6×6 canvas images altogether, which I combine in sets of 4 images.”


During the period of the exhibition commission4mission have also organised City Art in Faith: A Guided Walk of selected churches in the City of London, 2-4pm, October 25th 2018. Meet at the entrance of All Hallows-by-the-Tower, Tower Hill. Guided by Mark Lewis, artist and lecturer. No charge but donations appreciated. This walk will include seven churches and Mark will give a brief historical context for each of the churches visited and discuss the contemporary works of art to be found there and the artists who produced them. Walkers will also see examples of contemporary commissioned street sculpture while walking between venues. Churches to be visited: All Hallows-by-the-Tower – St Edmund King and Martyr – St Mary Woolnoth – St Stephen Walbrook – St Lawrence Jewry – St Mary-le-Bow – St Nicholas Cole Abbey. All churches feature in the City of London “Art of Faith” walk.

commission4mission's AGM will be held at 2.00pm at All Hallows by the Tower on Sunday 28 October. At the AGM Mark Lewis will provide information about next year’s commission4mission Art Retreat with the Othona Community in Bradwell-on-Sea (7 – 10 May 2019).

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The Proclaimers - I'm Gonna be (500 Miles).

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Windows on the world (416)


Whitechapel, 2018

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The Velvet Underground - I Found A Reason.

Something Worth Sharing Day 2














Something Worth Sharing was a weekend of events to mark the 7th annual conference on Disability and Church, a partnership between St Martin-in-the-Fields and Inclusive Church.

Today we began with a Eucharist and Healing Service for St Luke’s Day. This special service reflected the weekend’s themes using liturgy written by members of St Martin’s Disability Advisory Group and Healing Team. The service included the laying on of hands and anointing with oil, accompanied by prayers for healing. The service was followed by a Theology Group meeting which explored the history, theology of and approaches to Ecumenism.

Later we had a special screening of Defiant Lives, a feature-length documentary which was followed by discussion of the issues and ideas. Defiant Lives tells the story of the disability rights movement in the UK, US and Australia, mixing archive footage and recent interviews with disabled people who fought for a society where everyone can participate.

Twitter comment on the film and the panel discussion included:
  • Defiant Lives is a documentary telling the story of the Disability Rights Movement in Australia, UK & US.
  • "They weren't considered human." Harrowing reminders from history of #disability rights movement.
  • "In a culture of Othering, the Others are in danger. Crimes against us aren't really crimes. We cease being human."
  • Attitudes of paternalism & pity challenged by #disability rights movement. 
  • "To boldly go where all others have been before" - history of direct action, hard-won right to travel on "public" transport.
  • Beyond legislation - law is first step. Making it work is much harder... Usually "if someone complains, we'll fix it." Still not working.
  • Ed Roberts, US pioneer of Independent living, on the importance Personal Assistants as valued and specialist role. "Disabled people do best when their support workers do best.
  • "unless disabled people are involved, they're going to get it wrong" Lessons from history in #defiantlives.
  • Why is taking so long, even now, to get our voices out there?
  • The dominant charity stories diminish us. These must be changed. The language of hymns must change. 
  • People with lived experience building own theology - church needs to hear authentic spirituality derived from lived experience.
  • Church needs to reconsider its model of humanity - no steps to sanctuary and central altar saying God is in our midst.
  • Fighting for the right to go where everyone else has already gone before - this is my daily reality.
  • Church should be with marginalised but cut funding on disability issues at time when austerity cuts began to impact. 
  • Disabled people are the canaries in the coal mine - more in poverty, more disadvantaged. Church must speak out on these issues. 
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June Boyce-Tillman: Blessing Song.