CHESTER DIOCESAN Arts and Faith Network are bringing together a great team for a Creative Play Day here at St Michael & All Angels Bramhall on Monday 19th March. Please click the image above for a poster and here for a booking form.

Artist Dee Rollinson will lead a lovely messy hands-on session on sculpting from the hand; Cheshire Poet Laureate of 2006 Andrew Rudd will guide another session on writing from the hand; Textile artist Wendy Rudd will lead smudging from the hand (see her Windsails at St Michael’s); and poet Jan Dean will wrap the day up with some reflections.

Materials, lunch and refreshments will be provided. Parking’s easy. SatNav SK7 2PG. The Arts & Faith Network’s aim is to foster friendships and creative encouragement across the Diocese.

Booking is required, please. Some photos of last year’s Breathing Space at the studios of Sculptor Stephen Broadbent are here. Don’t think twice. No previous experience necessary. Download the booking form. See you there … or rather, here!



MY CHURCHWARDENS and I had an astonishingly creative encounter with artist Stephen Raw today – and I’m still buzzing from it. It’s a real delight that the new Arts and Faith Network in the Diocese of Chester exists to foster the (to me so very obvious) links between theology and art, between theology and the arts.

Four people encountered each other today in a literally “sparking” sort of a way. Ideas and colours, and prose and poetry, and heart speaking to heart, and light and dark, and liminal space (what pyschologists call “a place where boundaries dissolve a little and we stand there, on the threshold, getting ourselves ready to move across the limits of what we were into what we are to be”) – made for a scintillating, life-enhancing, praise-full morning. This, for me, is giving God “worth”; proper, Christ-like, celebration of “life in all its fullness”. Worship. Richness. The beauty of holiness … in “the ordinary” that wouldn’t necessarily recognise itself as holy. Such encounters (and you can make any encounter such) afford us Breathing Space, which is to say: they are Life. And I do worship.


I’VE BEEN FASCINATED that links to Steven Cronin’s wonderful Ullswater Watercolour Workshop videos on this blog have, in the last couple of days, brought forth responses and conversations with a dozen closet watercolour painters I knew nothing of. And the Arts and Faith Network I was celebrating with the other day would be interested to know how many such painters describe what they do – the creative acts they’re engaged in – as “spiritual” and even “acts of worship”. In the late seventies, reflecting upon the miracle of the second Salisbury Cathedral’s having been begun, on Salisbury Water Meadows, in 1220, I enjoyed a conversation with a contemporary stone mason there, who described what he did with hammer and chisel in the works yard, from Monday-Friday as “church worship”. Amen!