Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Powering the light of Christ in our lives

Here is my sermon from today's Eucharist at St Stephen Walbrook:

Jesus speaks of himself as being the light of the world. Therefore light is a common New Testament metaphor. In Jesus' day light was provided through fire and fire required a container in order to be managed and contained. In this story (Matthew 25. 1 - 13) the container is lamp with a finite supply of oil to fuel the wick. In his second letter to the Corinthians St Paul uses the image of a clay jar with a flame within (2 Corinthians 4. 1 - 12).

This second image has been inspirational for an art installation currently displayed in the Light Well at St Martin-in-the-Fields. The artist Anna Sikorska has worked with many of the different groups at St Martins to create porcelain lanterns which glow when lit from within because of the translucency of porcelain. The lanterns that have been made are glazed ceramic globes whose size, surface decoration and character differ, although the base material - and overall look - is consistent white ceramic, roughly made. In the Light Well these lanterns have been joined together with cord covering the stone floor in a random constellation. The cord also connects a light bulb within each lantern, so each one shines from within.

Porcelain, like all clay, is malleable when wet and able to be moulded and shaped but, once formed and fired, is firm but fragile at one and the same time. Porcelain, however, unlike most other clays, is also translucent meaning that light can be seen through it. It glows with a transparency individual to itself. All these aspects of porcelain are factors in these verses which say that ‘God … has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’ and that ‘we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.’

In the installation the lit lanterns are lit by light bulbs powered through the electrical cord connecting them together. In today’s Gospel reading the fuel for the light is oil. Half of the women in the story thought ahead, realised that they may well have to wait some time and brought with them sufficient supplies of oil so that when they bridegroom did finally arrive, much later than planned, they had all they needed to be ready for his arrival, unlike the other five who had to go to buy more oil and then were too late for the wedding feast. The point is that Jesus wanted his disciples to be like the wise women; he was emphasising to them the vital importance of being ready and prepared for what was to come.

So, to sum up, light in these stories symbolises Jesus; he is the light of the world that illuminates the darkness of our lives. The containers for the light are our bodies. The light of Christ enters our lives at baptism or conversion but is then intended to shine out from within, like the glow created by the lightbulbs inside the translucent porcelain lanterns. For this to happen the clay must be thin and with cracks; both of which make it fragile. The analogy is to the faults and fallibilities in our lives which paradoxically enable Christ to be seen more clearly.

If the clay jar, the container of the light, were to be perfectly formed, then the light inside would not be seen from the outside. The light of Christ would effectively be hidden. People would look at our perfect life and not Christ, because they would only see us. Instead, St Paul says, because we are not perfect and have difficulties and flaws we are like cracked clay jars, meaning that it is then clear that where we act or speak with love and compassion, this is because of Christ in us, rather than being something which is innate to us or simply our decision alone.

Finally, we need a consistent source of power for the light within. The wise women prepared for the wait by bringing sufficient supplies with them to keep their lamps lit. For the installation, the source of power is the cable which connects all of the lanterns. Our source of power, as Christians, is the Holy Spirit and we need to be constantly filled with the Spirit in order that we are consistently empowered to shine with the light of Christ. In his letter to the Ephesians, St Paul encourages us to go on being filled with the Holy Spirit or to drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him (Ephesians 5. 18 - 20). The Spirit empowers Christians to live a life of growing and overcoming, of transforming our lives to become like Jesus Christ. So, like the wise women with their supplies of oil, we can never have too little of the God’s Holy Spirit.

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Bruce Cockburn - Closer To The Light.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

HeartEdge update - events & articles



HeartEdge, the growing ecumenical network of churches initiated by St Martin-in-the-Fields, is attracting increasing interest as we take our introductory event around Great Britain.

Our West Midlands regional event was held at St Martin in the Bullring on 11 October with 60+ participants. Feedback included: ‘Each element gave me food for thought and made me reflect and inspired.’ ‘A thought provoking, inspiring day.’ ‘Very well paced, well structured.’

Our South West Regional event was held at St Michael’s Church Centre Stoke Gifford on 8 November with 70+ participants. Feedback included: ‘This day was a great investment and blessing.’ ‘My mind is spinning with challenge, brilliant!’ ‘Firestarter.’ ‘A wonderful day and thought-provoking, poignant, going back to my church to see if it’s possible to join HeartEdge.’

Here is some of the twitter comment on our South West event:
  • IC and @NewRootsOnline in Bristol for @HeartEdge_ started with great cakes so looks promising
  • The singular benefactor model can “shrink the imagination of the congregation...” We’re doing #heartedge in #Bristol #WestCountry
  • “The Benefactor model and the Stewardship model have things going for them - but neither are working...”
  • Commercial and cultural activity as alternative to benefactor and stewardship. The story of Vivaldi - composer, violinist, priest and entrepreneur... “Use the weight of the world to grow our mission, not shrink!”
  • Every enterprise is a social enterprise because each enterprise has to decide where to invest it’s profits - dividends to investors or social concern
  • “”Everything I do is small - and that’s OK...” @bee_rachael on keeping things simple and clear. “The Spirit is bigger than me... it’s a little bit of faithfulness...
  • We call our Asset Based Community Development day Redcliffe Treasures Day...” 
  • @naomibmiller from #Bristol #Cathedral “All kind of partners are important. Key thing is to know your eccentricity and find the right fit. #Church has a key role nurturing community partnerships... invite people in to take part!” 
  • "New connections made. Insights from Sam Wells, both inspiring and liberating - a clarion call to a new confidence in sharing Fullness of Joy with our world .....!"
Our next event is at GreyFriars Kirk in Edinburgh on Tuesday 21 November. 'At the Heart. On the Edge.' is a day hosted by Revd Dr Richard Frazer, Minister of Greyfriars Kirk, and Revd Dr Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, which includes theology, ideas, solutions and support, with a programme developed jointly by Greyfriars Kirk and St Martin’s.

The event will explore mission and ministry in relation to:
  • Congregation – Liturgy and worship for day-to-day communal life – gathered and local
  • Commerce – Starting and sustaining distinctive enterprise to generate finance for your church
  • Compassion – Growing participation and volunteering to address social need locally
  • Culture – Using art, music and performance to reimagine the Christian narrative in your context
Rt Revd Dr Derek Browning, Moderator, General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has said:

'Every now and again a venture comes along that captures the imagination, and speaks to some of the needs of our day. ‘At the Heart, On the Edge’ is one such venture.

How do we reach out with compassion to those on the edges of faith and life, and what do we learn from them when we get alongside them? What does our faith and our experience of life challenge us to explore and to share? How do we take our faith and put it into practice so that it might make a difference for good? Pope Francis has said that this work is not merely for institutions and leaders, it is for all of us, a move from ‘organised religion’, to ‘organising religion.’

“Along this path, popular movements play an essential role, not only by making demands and lodging protests, but even more basically by being creative. You are social poets; creators of work, builders of housing, producers of food, above all for people left behind by the world market…The future of humanity does not lie in the hands of great leaders, the great powers and the elites. It is fundamentally in the hands of peoples and their ability to organise. It is in their hands, which can guide with humility and conviction this process of change. I am with you.”

I am delighted not only to support this event but also to encourage as many as possible to attend. Here we might find another model to enable the authentic action and voice of Jesus to be seen and heard through our network of parishes, groups and organisations across the country.'

The following day I will be speaking on HeartEdge at a seminar organised by Churches Together in Southgate, Oakwood and Cockfosters - Wednesday 22nd November 8pm at Southgate Methodist Church. In my talk I will draw on examples from my own ministry and case studies from HeartEdge members to highlight work being carried out by churches in their communities to inspire work in Southgate, Oakwood and Cockfosters. 

This seminar is an opportunity to ask 'what are the needs of our community, in our part of north London? How can we work together as churches to address issues of poverty, loneliness and exclusion? All who are interested in the role of churches in the community and anyone with ideas on how churches can support our community are most welcome to join us.'

At Greenbelt I contributed to a session entitled 'Cathedrals and commerce: The challenge facing large churches'. This was in The Exchange, a new venue for 2017 that provided the opportunity over the weekend to think together about enterprise for the common good. I was part of a panel chaired by Cliff Mills which explored the reality that large churches are getting involved in enterprise activity to stay open and asked how we can find the right way through commerce and cathedrals. I talked about these questions in relation to HeartEdge, together with The Very Revd John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry Cathedral, Alison Inglis-Jones from the Trussell Trust, and Jonny Gordon-Farleigh from Stir to Action.

Stir to Action have kindly published a post about HeartEdge on their blog. In this post I say that:

'In common with Stir to Action’s Unlocking the Next Economy initiative, HeartEdge is interested in finding new ways for churches to engage with their local communities while also creating revenues to help them survive. That’s because St Martin-in-the-Fields, which has initiated HeartEdge (a growing ecumenical network of churches and other organisations in the UK and beyond), has developed a model for its ministry that sees diverse congregations involved in commerce, culture and compassionate community activities.'

Recently in the Baptist Times, Andy Goodliff explained why Bell Vue Baptist Church in Southend has joined HeartEdge. Andy says:

'HeartEdge asks what are the obvious and hidden assets we have as churches, and how might they be used in ministries of culture, commerce and compassion that shape the church’s life and mission, so that they do not become just things we do, but become part of we are.

Many churches are engaged in compassion ministries - foodbanks, night shelters - but few of us are really taking seriously the opportunities to do mission through culture and through commerce. And our compassion ministries tend to be the kind where we do things for people, rather than seeing them as gift to us.

This word gift is important. Instead of seeing the deficits in our church life, the vision of HeartEdge challenges you to see the assets, those often unrecognised or not fully appreciated gifts, which can become something more in the kingdom of God.'

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Ricky Ross - Bethlehem's Gate.

Start:Stop - Light shines through lines of stress



Bible reading

For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. (2 Corinthians 4: 6-12)

Meditation

St Paul told the Christians in Corinth that they had the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ in their hearts, but that this treasure was in clay jars, so that it might be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and did not come from them (2 Corinthians 4. 6 - 12). If the clay jar, the container of the light, were to be perfectly formed, then the light inside would not be seen from the outside. The light of Christ would effectively be hidden. People would look at our perfect life and not Christ, because they would only see us. Instead, St Paul says, because we are not perfect and have difficulties and flaws we are like cracked clay jars, meaning that it is then clear that where we act or speak with love and compassion, this is because of Christ in us, rather than being something which is innate to us or simply our decision alone. He used this image of light in containers seen through cracks, or thin translucent clay, to assure the Corinthian Christians that they had the light of God in their lives, despite the fallibility and frailty of those lives.

At St Martin-in-the-Fields, the artist Anna Sikorska is currently helping us reflect on these themes through ‘Light the Well’, a community art project which she has undertaken with the whole church community. The project has involved making porcelain lanterns (glazed ceramic globes). The size, surface decoration and character of each lantern differ, although the base material - and overall look - is consistent white ceramic, roughly made. The lanterns were made by laying strips of porcelain onto a round support. Once made, the lanterns were fired and are then suitable for being outside. They develop cracks in the firing, through which the light inside will also be seen. In the Light Well at St Martin’s these lanterns have been joined together with cord covering the stone floor in a random constellation. The cord also connects a light bulb within each lantern, so each one shines from within.

Porcelain, like all clay, is malleable when wet and able to be moulded and shaped but, once formed and fired, is firm but fragile at one and the same time. Porcelain, however, unlike most other clays, is also translucent meaning that light can be seen through it. It glows with a transparency individual to itself. All these aspects of porcelain are factors in these verses which say that ‘God … has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’ and that ‘we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.’

These cracked translucent lanterns lit from within are a visible realisation of St Paul’s image of light in clay jars. By linking the lanterns together, this installation also highlights another aspect of this passage. Paul writes that ‘We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.’ Paul writes of us in the plural. We are afflicted, but not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. It is as we come together to engage with affliction, perplexity, forsakenness, and being struck down that we carry in our body the death of Jesus and show the life of Jesus. It is as we come together, linked, like the lanterns, by the light of Christ that we become the Body of Christ.

These verses picture us as fragile clay or porcelain containers. We all, as individuals, have the light of Christ within which can be seen by others as a result of our fragile nature; either the lines of stress in our lives or the thinness of our skin. Each of us are like cracked or translucent clay jars because of our flaws and vulnerabilities. It is through these lines of stress – the suffering, rejection and scorn with which we engage - that the light of Christ is seen. It is as we join together in living for the sake of others – linked together as the lanterns are linked in the Light the Well installation – that we become the Body of Christ and reveal him most fully in the world. In this way, this installation shows us what it means to be the Body of Christ – the Church – in the world today. When we come together as fragile individuals glowing with the light of Christ in and through our fallibilities, we are the Church as it is intended to be.

Prayers

Lord Jesus, in your face we see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. Your light in our lives is like a flame inside a cracked clay jar, with your light seen through the lines of stress and tension that characterise our lives. As flawed people in a fragile world, we recognise that there is a crack in everything. We recognise, too, that it is through the cracks in our existence that your light gets in and shines out. We share in the vulnerability and suffering that was your experience of death in order that your life is also seen as being our strength in weakness. May we not be crushed, driven to despair, forsaken or destroyed, but in the stresses and tensions of our lives know your power loving and sustaining us. May we no longer strive after perfect offerings and pray instead that every heart to love will come, but as a refugee. Lord, in your strength and vulnerability, hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, you are the light of the world and the light in our darkness. May your light be a flame to build warmth in our hearts towards family, neighbours and all those we meet. We place in your care all those we come to remember today. Give us, we pray, comfort in our anxiety and fear, courage and strength in our suffering, patience and compassion in our caring, consolation in our grieving. But above all, give us hope now and always. Lord, in your strength and vulnerability, hear our prayer.

Lord, may your light enlighten us in our decisions and be a fire to purify us from all pride and selfishness. Set our hearts on fire with love for you, so that we may love you with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, and with all our strength, and our neighbours as ourselves. So that by keeping your commandments we may glorify you, the giver of all good gifts. Lord, in your strength and vulnerability, hear our prayer.

Blessing

Enlightenment in our decisions, purification from pride and selfishness, strength in weakness, God’s power loving and sustaining us. May those blessings of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, rest upon you and remain with you always. Amen.

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Innocence Mission - Morning Star.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Patronal Festival and Light the Well







Our Patronal Festival service Thirty Enterprising Years’ tonight celebrated 30 years of commercial life at St Martin-in-the-Fields and reflected on the place of the place of our business in the future of our community. The preacher for this service was Revd Dr Sam Wells, who offered a series of beatitudes for business. The service was followed by the unveiling of a plaque for Canon Geoffrey Brown and a party in the Crypt with celebrations, food and a quiz.

The Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields sang in the Light Well alongside Anna Sikorska's SALT installation which is the culmination of the Light the Well community art project.

Set in the Light Well from 11 – 18 November, this installation has been made by the hands of people at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Individuals from across our shared life - Church congregation, Chinese community, clergy, staff, clients from the Connection and members of our International Group - have, over some time, gathered together over tables of clay and carefully formed the pieces which fill the Light Well.

Each porcelain ‘lantern’ is filled with light from a simple string of lamps. They will sit together in-situ for one week, during which we celebrate the Feast of St. Martin and also the 30th anniversaries of St Martin-in-the-Fields Limited and the Bishop Ho Ming Wah Community Centre.

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Anton Bruckner - Locus Iste.

Light the Well project: SALT installation - night time images










Anna Sikorska's SALT installation set in the Light Well of St Martin-in-the-Fields from 11 – 18 November is the culmination of the Light the Well community art project.

This installation has been made by the hands of people at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Individuals from across our shared life - Church congregation, Chinese community, clergy, staff, clients from the Connection and members of our International Group - have, over some time, gathered together over tables of clay and carefully formed the pieces which fill the Light Well.

Each porcelain ‘lantern’ is filled with light from a simple string of lamps. They will sit together in-situ for one week, during which we celebrate the Feast of St. Martin and also the 30th anniversaries of St Martin-in-the-Fields Limited and the Bishop Ho Ming Wah Community Centre.

Conversations around the tables touched on “cracked pots”, Jesus’ story of searching for the 100th sheep, the continental tradition of “St Martin’s day” paper lanterns, networks of sea buoys, St Paul describing light inside clay vessels, faces, the fragility of our lives and bodies, “broken but not crushed”, and Leonard Cohen: “Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in.”

This installation has been the work of Anna Sikorska, Jonathan Evens, Katja Werne, Jim and Sarah Sikorski and everyone who accepted a lump of porcelain and gave it a form. Thank you.

From the 19th November you are invited to be part of changing the gathered constellation into an expanded field, dispersing the pots/lanterns amongst our community and beyond. You will be able to buy a piece to take away and light a small candle inside. Proceeds to the New Art Studio and Art Refuge UK, both charities working with art therapy in the context of migration and displacement. Each lantern costs £10 (cash only) and must be collected on the morning of Sunday 19 November. To reserve a lantern go to the Box Office.

Anna Sikorska lives and works in London. She studied for a BA in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London and completed an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited in many group and solo exhibitions. Anna has work permanently sited at Marusici Sculpture Park, Croatia.

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The Innocence Mission - O Lord Of Light.

Light the Well project: SALT installation - day time images

















Anna Sikorska's SALT installation set in the Light Well of St Martin-in-the-Fields from 11 – 18 November is the culmination of the Light the Well community art project.

This installation has been made by the hands of people at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Individuals from across our shared life - Church congregation, Chinese community, clergy, staff, clients from the Connection and members of our International Group - have, over some time, gathered together over tables of clay and carefully formed the pieces which fill the Light Well.

Each porcelain ‘lantern’ is filled with light from a simple string of lamps. They will sit together in-situ for one week, during which we celebrate the Feast of St. Martin and also the 30th anniversaries of St Martin-in-the-Fields Limited and the Bishop Ho Ming Wah Community Centre.

Conversations around the tables touched on “cracked pots”, Jesus’ story of searching for the 100th sheep, the continental tradition of “St Martin’s day” paper lanterns, networks of sea buoys, St Paul describing light inside clay vessels, faces, the fragility of our lives and bodies, “broken but not crushed”, and Leonard Cohen: “Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in.”

This installation has been the work of Anna Sikorska, Jonathan Evens, Katja Werne, Jim and Sarah Sikorski and everyone who accepted a lump of porcelain and gave it a form. Thank you.

From the 19th November you are invited to be part of changing the gathered constellation into an expanded field, dispersing the pots/lanterns amongst our community and beyond. You will be able to buy a piece to take away and light a small candle inside. Proceeds to the New Art Studio and Art Refuge UK, both charities working with art therapy in the context of migration and displacement. Each lantern costs £10 (cash only) and must be collected on the morning of Sunday 19 November. To reserve a lantern go to the Box Office.

Anna Sikorska lives and works in London. She studied for a BA in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London and completed an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited in many group and solo exhibitions. Anna has work permanently sited at Marusici Sculpture Park, Croatia.

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Let The Day Begin.

Foyer display: Vicky Howard







‘The Shelter Project’ by Vicky Howard (work in progress, four panels of fifteen)

St Martin-in-the-Fields is home to several commissions and permanent installations by contemporary artists.

We also have an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions, as well as a group of artists and craftspeople from the St Martin’s community who show artwork and organise art projects on a temporary basis.

One of the initiatives from this group is a changing display of work by the group members. Each month a different member of the group will show an example of their work, so, if you are able, do return to see the changing display.

This month Vicky Howard is showing work in progress from her series of drawings entitled ‘The Shelter Project’, begun by taking tracings from the walls of the Christmas Shop in St Martin’s. The inspiration for the project is Psalm 27. 5: ‘For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent.’

A display of Vicky’s sketch books can also be found in the cabinet to the right of her drawings.

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Linda Perhacs - River Of God.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Light the Well project: SALT installation


Anna Sikorska's SALT installation set in the Light Well of St Martin-in-the-Fields from 11 – 18 November is the culmination of the Light the Well community art project.

This installation has been made by the hands of people at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Individuals from across our shared life - Church congregation, Chinese community, clergy, staff, clients from the Connection and members of our International Group - have, over some time, gathered together over tables of clay and carefully formed the pieces which fill the Light Well. 

Each porcelain ‘lantern’ is filled with light from a simple string of lamps. They will sit together in-situ for one week, during which we celebrate the Feast of St. Martin and also the 30th anniversaries of St Martin-in-the-Fields Limited and the Bishop Ho Ming Wah Community Centre.

Conversations around the tables touched on “cracked pots”, Jesus’ story of searching for the 100th sheep, the continental tradition of “St Martin’s day” paper lanterns, networks of sea buoys, St Paul describing light inside clay vessels, faces, the fragility of our lives and bodies, “broken but not crushed”, and Leonard Cohen: “Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in.”

This installation has been the work of Anna Sikorska, Jonathan Evens, Katja Werne, Jim and Sarah Sikorski and everyone who accepted a lump of porcelain and gave it a form. Thank you.

From the 19th November you are invited to be part of changing the gathered constellation into an expanded field, dispersing the pots/lanterns amongst our community and beyond. You will be able to buy a piece to take away and light a small candle inside. Proceeds to the New Art Studio and Art Refuge UK, both charities working with art therapy in the context of migration and displacement. Each lantern costs £10 (cash only) and must be collected on the morning of Sunday 19 November. To reserve a lantern go to the Box Office.
Anna Sikorska lives and works in London. She studied for a BA in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London and completed an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited in many group and solo exhibitions. Anna has work permanently sited at Marusici Sculpture Park, Croatia.

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Gordon Gano (feat. Mary Lou Lord) - Oh, Wonder.

Artlyst: Art Awakening Humanity Conference report

My latest piece for Artlyst is a report on the Art Awakening Humanity Conference held at St Stephen Walbrook in October.

Art Awakening Humanity was an afternoon of short talks and meditations organised by St Stephen Walbrook in partnership with Awakened Artists and Watkins Mind Body Spirit Magazine. The event included contributions from artists, collectors and spiritual teachers centred around the relationship between art and the spiritual dimension.

The conference offered a wide range of perspectives on the theme of art awakening humanity. Participants described the event as: “Wonderful day of talks and lectures”, “Wonderful, inspirational” and “Spiritually uplifting conference.”

My other Artlyst articles are:
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The Unthanks - How Wild The Wind Blows.

Windows on the world (370)


Walsingham, 2014

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Robbie Robertson - Broken Arrow.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Bloomberg London and St Francis at The Engine Room

Today I've visited two new buildings, both of which make art prominent features of their design. 

Image result for bloomberg london art

Located in the heart of the City of London, Bloomberg's new European headquarters is the first wholly owned and designed Bloomberg building in the world. Designed to facilitate collaboration and fuel innovation, it will bring Bloomberg’s 4,000 London-based employees under one roof for the first time.

The 3.2 acre Bloomberg site encompasses three public plazas, providing new civic space in the heart of the City. Bloomberg Arcade divides the site and returns a lost portion of Watling Street – an important Roman road – back to the city grid. The covered dining arcade features a variety of independent restaurants and serves as a new pedestrian thoroughfare. At each end, it is defined by a major new public artwork by Cristina Iglesias that creates a place of repose among the City’s dense fabric of streets. Art plays a central role in the project, with eight major contemporary commissions in and around the building. Monumental works by Olafur Eliasson, Pae White, and leading British artists also feature in a building designed by Norman Foster.

Designed to complement historic neighbouring structures and to age gracefully with time, the Bloomberg building is the biggest stone project in the City of London for a century. It features 9,600 tonnes of Derbyshire sandstone and blends locally sourced, natural materials with the best of international craftsmanship.

Bloomberg’s new European headquarters is located on one of the UK’s most significant archaeological sites, home to the ancient Temple of Mithras and at the heart of what was Roman London’s commercial centre. London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE restores the Temple of Mithras to the site of its discovery. Open to the public and free to enter, Bloomberg SPACE will host a series of contemporary art commissions reflecting broadly on the history of the site, as well as a huge vitrine displaying more than 600 remarkable Roman artefacts found during recent excavations at Bloomberg. The immersive temple reconstruction uses carefully directed lights, haze and sound to bring the temple’s remains to life, and to evoke the rituals and activities that took place within its cave-like walls.



St Francis at the Engine Room is a community centre and the first new Anglican Church to be erected in London in almost 40 years. Spearheaded by the Diocese of London working in partnership with Lee Valley Estates, Newlon Housing Trust and London City Mission. It has been created to put a community resource and place of worship at the heart of the new housing development in the Hale Village. 

The opening of the Engine Room community centre in 2013 was a key step towards creating a dynamic community space for adults, children and families in Hale Village. The vision is to become a catalyst for building community at the heart of the Hale Village by putting a community centre and church at the heart of this new housing development. Everything done through their workers, volunteers and partnerships with other community groups is about investing in local lives. They want to give every resident of the Hale Village daily opportunities to make new friends, to learn from each other, to grow spiritually and to share their lives. Their community workers, Andrew and Martina Kwapong and local volunteers are using their knowledge and expertise to draw people in, make them feel they belong and unlock their potential for giving back to others. In September 2014, they were joined by The Revd. Andrew Williams, an experienced parish priest who is leading St Francis church. Last year, hundreds of local residents benefited from a wide range of fun and creative activities run by the Engine Room and St Francis church.

Graeme Mortimer Evelyn has created a permanent contemporary altarpiece (Reredos) The Eternal Engine for St Francis at The Engine Room. This hand carved, painted relief sculpture is approximately 5 metres x 3 metres in scale and is be one of the largest permanent contemporary sculpture works ever installed within a sacred space in the UK. It also represents the second Church of England altarpiece commission the artist has received, following the unveiling in 2011 of the Reconciliation Reredos for the historic St Stephens Church in Bristol. Evelyn's Stations of the Cross can also be seen currently in St Francis at The Engine Room. These began as a journey of bridge building between an understanding of his Buddhist faith and Christian upbringing, leading to a universal message of human struggle and hope.

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Beyonce - At Last.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Discover & explore: The Temple of Mithras & St Stephen Walbrook





‪Philip Dawson writes that: 'Discover & Explore at St Stephen Walbrook is a beautifully crafted service drawing together fantastic music, sacred & secular readings and intelligent reflection and takes place on Mondays at 1.10pm‬':

'"Discover and Explore" this Monday lunchtime explored the discovery of the Temple of Mithras on the site opposite the church in 1954, which attracted huge public interest at the time. The service was led by Reverend Sally Muggeridge. The opening responses set the theme of "darkness to light" - a perfect link to the past; Mithras first appears as a God of Light in India before moving through Persia to Rome (via Alexander the Great).‬

Mithras was associated with righteousness, truth & integrity. The Romans found this warlike, strict & just god appealing‪. The choral scholars of St Martin-in-the-Fields sang Beati quorum via "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord." The first reading was an account of the discovery & the public interest: 'To see property developers turn pale whisper "Temple of Mithras" - a fact satirised in a Punch Cartoon.

The choral scholars stood at the entrance of the church to sing Bruckner's Locus Iste, the gradual for the dedication of a church. ‬The bible reading (Acts 26.12-18) continued the theme of darkness to light; Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus‪. The choir then sang Telemann's setting of Ein Feste Burg; Luthers famous battle cry for the Reformation - a choice of music with layers of meaning not only in terms of today's subject - a Roman temple which became the site of a church but also the recent Reformation anniversary.

In prayer Reverend Sally referenced the Mithraic "Daily Salute to the Sun" and we prayed for all affected by the shooting at First Baptist Church in Texas. We finished with Joachim Neander's famous hymn "Praise to the Lord". Neander having given his name to another famous archaeological discovery‬.'

The next Discover & explore service is on Monday 13 November when we will explore St Augustine of Canterbury - see https://ssw.churchsuite.co.uk/events/hr1qa6pc.

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Anton Bruckner - Locus Iste.

Light the Well installation


‘Thirty Enterprising Years’ is the theme for celebrating our patronal festival at St Martin-in-the-Fields this year. The service on Sunday 12 November starts at 5.00pm and is followed by the unveiling of the plaque for Canon Geoffrey Brown at 6.00pm and party in the Crypt until 9.00pm (£5 tickets
available from the Vergers and Parish Office). The lantern installation (Light the Well), that many people across St Martin’s have taken part in, will be in situ in the lightwell and there will be the opportunity to view this during the evening. All are welcome.

Artist Anna Sikorska, who has created Light the Well, our community art project writes:

'This installation to be set in the Light Well from 11 – 17 November has been made by the hands of people at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Individuals from across our shared life - Church congregation, Chinese community, clergy, staff, clients from the Connection and members of our International Group - have, over some time, gathered together over tables of clay and carefully formed the pieces which fill the Light Well.

Each porcelain ‘lantern’ is filled with light from a simple string of lamps. They will sit together in-situ for one week, during which we celebrate the Feast of St. Martin and also the 30th anniversary of the Bishop Ho Ming Wah Centre.

Conversations around the tables touched on “cracked pots”, Jesus’ story of searching for the 100th sheep, the continental tradition of “St Martin’s day” paper lanterns, networks of sea buoys, St Paul describing light inside clay vessels, faces, the fragility of our lives and bodies, “broken but not crushed”, and Leonard Cohen: “Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in.”

From the 17th November you are invited to be part of changing the gathered constellation into an expanded field, dispersing the pots/lanterns amongst our community and beyond. You will be able to buy a piece to take away and light a small candle inside. Proceeds to the New Art Studio and Art Refuge UK, both charities working with art therapy in the context of migration and displacement.

This installation has been the work of Anna Sikorska, Jonathan Evens, Katja Werne, Jim and Sarah Sikorski and everyone who accepted a lump of porcelain and gave it a form. Thank you.'

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Leonard Cohen - Anthem.