Category Archives: Arts

An evening of celebration, protest and solidarity on Valentine’s Day

”My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep. The more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite…”
Romeo & Juliet Act 11 scene 2

Love (c) Jessica Hische

Following our response to the bishops’ Pastoral Statement, a few members of the congregation decided to get together at church for an alternative Valentine’s evening yesterday as a symbolic protest to insist that love is far more diverse than the Church may be ready to recognise.

It was a beautiful evening: we prayed through a liturgy of celebration and blessing, we lit candles to remember a dear friend, recently lost, Kye, and to pray for the church to become more compassionate and diverse. We also shared some delicious food. Adriaan had us in stitches with food/sensuality allusions and metaphors from Song of Songs (on hearing this, you’d never look at a pomegranate the same way again!) and Nicola shared a powerful and wonderful poem, which she has just written… and left not one dry eye in the room: 

This is my church, your church and our church, 
a church of unity, sanctuary, asylum, a whole church

Those who have travelled whether willingly or not,
those white or of colour, those with all those who’ve not got

The upwardly mobile, middle roaders and oppressed,
those who’s assigned gender doesn’t meet the way they’re dressed

Those of native language, those with words that helped form it, 
those whose emotions run so deep no words we need, 
those so deeply hurt they can no longer bleed. 

Those who can sing it and shout it that Jesus died for them, 
those scared to even whisper for the weight of silencing from men

When I walk through the doors, oh hi so glad you are here,
not what do we do it’s her, you know her, the queer. 

My name resounds in joyful muse 
never feeling my sexuality, anyone does confuse, 

we are there gods people, 
God’s children worshipping in his image, 
holding up the hearts of those broken whilst they heal, 
holding those so broken they can no longer feel, 
those who had once given up on mankind. 

But here in my church, in your church, in ours, 
all hearts are thrown open and arms wrap tightly 
with the words of our beautiful all inclusive lord, 
we are but people all formed in his image 
so we go forth with strength and rise to the challenge. 

We may have less rights be frowned on by many 
but together we have faith not experienced by any, 
we are the few sent to make us the many. 

Together we grow, divided we fall, 
if you hurt one you will hurt us all, 
but we will take that pain and make it a gain 

For this church is my church is your church is ours, 
our sanctuary, our breath our infinite love divine, 
I am so proud to with these people entwine. 

My church your church ours we conquer, 
ever carried forward by the strength of our father
— Nicola Edmonds, 2020

Here too is an excerpt from the liturgy we used:

An affirmation of Faith and Hope 

O God, Giver of Life, 
Bearer of Pain, Maker of Love, 
affirming in your incarnation 
the goodness of the flesh: 
may the yearnings of our bodies 
be fulfilled in sacraments of love, 
and our earthly embracings be enjoyed 
as a foretaste of the glory to come, 
in the light of the resurrection of Jesus, 
our Companion, our Lover and our Guide. 
Amen. 

May the outrageous welcome of God 
accept us for who we are; 
May the incarnation of the Word 
touch and hold us close; 
May the wandering of the Spirit 
help us risk ourselves for love. 
May God drive us out with power 
to fill the world with her justice. 
Amen.

The Theatre Workshop

Last Saturday George from Reboot the Roots led another great workshop using techniques from the Theatre of the Oppressed.  Games, forming and dialoguing about group body sculpts and thinking about how we all interpret situations differently happened in the morning and in afternoon we used our own situations of oppression to think about how we can challenge and change difficult encounters. How are we all both oppressors and oppressed? It was great fun but more importantly left us all thoughtful and open to how we have the power to make a difference for ourselves and others in oppressive encounters. Thank you George and all participants.

George is running another Forum Theatre workshop focusing on Gender issues on May 4 and  there are still spaces available. A donation of £10 covers costs. To book contact George at ReboottheRoots.org.uk

Visit to Armley Mills 29 July 2018

Last Sunday a large group of us went to Armley Mills Industrial Museum to visit a beautiful felting exhibition organised by Linda and others from across the region. The museum is an impressive array of 19th-century industrial history, and we also saw some awesome miniature steam toys and nostalgic Meccano collections. All fun, although one small person was less than fascinated…

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Inspiration – the tethered colt

Ted Schofield was inspired by Richards Sermon:

“What spoke to me about Richards sermon today was the moment when the two disciples went to find the tethered colt.  (I have only pictured one here).  Richard suggested that the disciples might be challenged by someone, as they had been told to expect, and they might feel nervous about taking the colt without the owner’s permission.  So they are in the position of having to step forward in faith to do something they would not normally do.  I have depicted another character on the right, who might be challenging the disciple on the left.  Is she going to overcome her fear and take the donkey?  And is the other character going to challenge her or assist her?  The donkey waits to see who takes control.”

Inspiration – an honoured guest

Last week (4th March) the congregation of All Hallows’ joined with St Chad’s and St Michael’s at St Chad’s to celebrate their patronal festival (a sort of birthday party!) Ted Schofield was inspired to produce the painting in response to the reading:

When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Inspiration from a withered hand

Ted Schofield has been inspired by David’s sermon on Jesus healing the man with the withered hand to produce these paintings. Ted says “the point that came across to me is that the man had the courage to stretch out his hand and reveal his weakness to Christ. I have created several different hands which represent different people and different kinds of pain.”

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Sunday 18th February 2018

Readings: Luke 4 – Jesus in the desert testing his ‘Chosen One’ vocation vs. the Exodus story with the Israelites in the desert testing their ‘Chosen People’ vocation.

Heston took us through the parallel stories of the Israelites leaving Egypt and wandering in the desert for 40 years, and Jesus being tempted by the devil in his 40 day fast in the wilderness.  The desert sand tray and water effects were all very effective!

Whereas the Israelites failed to keep faith with God, and created the Golden Calf whilst Moses was up Mount Sinai receiving the the Ten Commandments, Jesus turned the devil away and resisted all the temptations.

The two pictures can seem to tell an unattractive story.  The people having a great time worshiping the calf are about to be thumped by Moses, whereas Jesus’s victory over the devil involves huge self denial.

The two images show the opposite reactions to this time of testing in the desert. The point that came through to me was that Jesus won through; whereas the Israelites lost heart, he showed he was stronger than the temptations of the world.  But I wanted to show that he really was hungry…..if he hadn’t been, it wouldn’t have been a real victory at all.

Ted

Jesus being tempted to turn stones into bread in the wilderness

The Golden Calf….can you spot Moses?

 

Pictures by Ted Schofield, inspired by Sunday’s service.

Inspired by Luke (and the Rev David Randolph Horn!)

On the 2nd February the Rev David Randolph Horn shared with us his thoughts on Luke 5:1-16. In the congregation that day was a really gifted artist, Ted Schofield, who felt inspired to produce the following pictures:

A Beautiful Present

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This Sunday we received a most wonderful present from our Muslim friends. The beautiful calligraphy above says All Hallows’ Church. It is rainbow coloured and has received much admiration already. People have commented on the colours, the shape (a tear) and that it looks like music – all of which we think fits All Hallows so well! We plan to put it in pride of place on the back wall of our worship space so that we see it as we go back out into the world.

What do you think of it?

IDAHOBiT Cross

IDAHOBiT cross 2We have had a lot of positive comments about this cross made by Kerry at the IDAHOBiT 2015 event a few weeks ago, so here it is for everyone to see. Hope you can read it! Click on the cross for a larger version.