The ‘Seeing Creation’ exhibition was held on the 1-2 May 2022 at Hathersage Parish Church.
Inspired by creation it focused on six areas including textile creativity, visual arts,shaping with wood, caring for creation, children’s crafts and hospitality.
Here Bernard Madden from the organising team shares his reflection on the success of the event.
Textiles: From displaying existing and contemporary church and personal textiles to a busy table of lace making and cross-stitching workshops led by experienced hands, the area was abuzz with those trying out new skills.
Visual arts: Here we displayed how contemporary mainstream national artists capture aspects of the Christian faith; and about twenty local invited artists and photographers displayed their work.
It was heartening to see the creative talent all around us being shared with an appreciative audience.
Shaping with wood: This was hugely popular; under the careful instruction of a church member with his band fret saw, every age enjoyed having a go at cutting some creatureshape for themselves.
A lovely take-away!
Caring for creation: It was important to show how seriously we as a church take this.
Both A Rocha / Eco Church and local Climate Action Group enthusiasts were on hand to inform and encourage - and to give away something to plant!
Children’s crafts: Central in the church was a large table-top cardboard model reflecting our surrounding Hope Valley.
All ages enjoyed making a tree from a paper bag, decorating with colourful leaves and ‘planting’ it on the model and taking a scripture verse card. ‘The leavesare for the healing of the nations’.
Clay model-making proved popular with the children.
Our schoolchildren painted their self-portraits on paper plates strung overhead.
Hospitality: We ensured that Welcomers were always at the door and refreshments constantly available in the church (importantly, not in a separate room, and by donation rather than charge).
This proved to be ‘the glue’ in the event – binding each aspect together with opportunity to stay around, relax and chat. ‘Practice hospitality’ (1 Peter 4:9)!
We had worked hard, transformed how the church looked - clearing away some of the flexible pews, hanging banners and displays – but were rewarded with much appreciation as well as good insights into how many ‘see church’.
One remarked: “This is how I remember church: being together and having space to chat and enjoy time here.”
Others: ‘Wonderful to visit such a vibrant and creative community.’
‘Lovely welcoming … What a fabulous use of church facilities.’
At the entrance were the words: ‘Jesus is Lord! Creation’s voice proclaims it!’
Yes, and the same Lord who made each of us gave us gifts for sharing and encouraging and testifying to all that He has given us.
As our vicar, Paul Moore, reminded us in our opening service: “Now get out and see all the wonder, beauty and glory of God all around us that He has so generously created”.
Bernard Madden and event team.