Art in our Church
As we have three churches in the Parish of Holywell each with its different architecture, age and style, over the years, artists and craftsmen and craftswomen have contributed to enhance the beauty of each building. Both St. James and Holy Trinity Churches possess stain glass windows and original oil paintings depicting scenes from the life of Jesus and his disciples. It is well worth taking time to study and reflect on these and we have opened St. James Church on Saturdays in the summer from x a.m. to y p,m. to this end., while at Holy Trinity there is Holy Communion and coffee every Tuesday and St. Peter’s Church coffee on Wednesday mornings at 10.30 a.m. Anyone passing by is most welcome.
Church Painting for the wall above the organ
In this work I have used the Greek Fish symbol, Ichthys, to create a painting to harmonise with the colours of the chairs and the carpet of St.Peter’s Church.
The letters of the Greek word Ichthys or fish, form an acronym which translated into English says Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Saviour. During the first centuries after Christ’s Death and Resurrection, Christians were persecuted by the Roman Empire and they used the fish symbol to mark meeting places and drew the symbol in the dust with their foot or shaped it with their fingers to distinguish friend from foe.
The background shapes and forms capture fishes in their essence to represent the saying of Jesus “ I will make you fishers of men.”
The use of dark outlining attempts to create an impression of a church stained glass window and since St. Peter’s Church is modern, it is appropriate I feel, to use a more modern style of painting to match this.
Terry Ireland 6th September 2013.
For some years there has been a tradition of placing temporary art and floral decoration in the churches of the parish. For instance, at Christmas in St. James & Holy Trinity we have made candle crowns which are suspended with no little difficulty high up in the church and each window is decorated with floral decorations following a theme varied from year to year. This is done for the candlelit carol services just before Christmas when we welcome everyone to partake in the advent of Christmas in a traditional service of lessons and carols, which has proved popular with the public. Mulled wine and mince pies is served in each church after the service.
These two pictures were painted to introduce colour into the main church which is used as a community facility in the week and a church on Sundays and at other times. The landscape is an imaginary impression of the mountains of Wales to show its solitude and beauty as the artist has walked the hills for over 50 years. Darkness and dawn were chosen to infer Death and The Hope of Resurrection, the basic tenet of the Christian Faith.
St. Peter’s Church being a modern building with multi-purpose use presents a problem for decoration but at Christmas for example, we bring in leafless trees cut and placed on stands to decorate the church and a large triptych screen has been made and is placed in the sanctuary to form a painted backdrop of Bethlehem. On the reverse side of this 5 metre triptych is a scene of a frozen landscape in Scandinavia with which forms the backdrop to our Christmas Bazaar. Great efforts are made to create a really Christmas atmosphere and considerable trouble is taken to ensure we have a real Christmas market. It is proving a popular event in the town of Holywell so do come along.
Recently, the ladies sewing group created a wall hanging that is above the arch of the sanctuary permanently on view in the church and it is hoped that further enhancements can be made to bring colour to the modern building with its minimalist architecture.
Naturally the Sunday School uses art and illustrative techniques during their studies and they are encouraged to bring them into the church often as part of the “sermon”. It is hoped to in the future to create permanent large pictures designed and painted by the children with the help of artists in residence.