News (page)

May Writing 2022

Light

Light our souls to walk your path Lord
Lighten heavy burdens and pain.
Ignite candles in every dark corner
Ignite hope to conquer despair and fear.
Greet the unexpected with new light
Greet all travellers with love.
Help us to be people of light
Help the world to reflect in heavenly glory.
Take the glory of the resurrection into all hearts
Take our praise and thanks Lord.

Amen

© Helen McNicholl Kingdom Arts May 2022


Shine your light Lord.

Where does Your light shine Lord?
It shines for me:
through soft falling rain in sunlight
through giant rainbows
through a lightening flash.

It shines:
through the drifting fragrance of Hawthorn blossom
the scent of lily of the valley
the smell of ripe tomatoes on the vine
and good red wine.

It shines:
through the sound of children playing outdoors
through laughter
through water trickling into a pool bubbling over stones
through voices raised in songs of praise
through music.

It shines:
through the eyes of a loved one
through a soft touch or gentle kiss
through smiles
through a hand held in friendship.

Your light shines throughout Your world.
Lord let Your light shine through me.

© Barbara Rolison Kingdom Arts 10.05.22


Mother Teresa

Kind lady, you who did not race
I see the love in your gentle face.
Your skin, wrinkled now, like it’s paid a price
For the goodness you’ve sown throughout your life.

You’re so small but you have lived
A life so full, so very big.
Small acts of kindness now multiplied
By the love of Jesus, the One who died.

The life He gave you, you’ve lived so well
Rescuing those who, truth to tell,
Had lost all hope, had no-one to care,
Would have died alone, but you were there.

The broken hearts, the broken lives,
Sickness and poverty, part of life’s demise.
Family and friends who once stayed to care
Worn out by grief were no longer there.

But you, my dear one, stayed and stayed
Until the end, life in death displayed.
This grace you carry, this life so true
Has sustained and strengthened you.

‘Tis clear to all who care to look,
This love of God, outside the book,
Gives power and strength to overcome
The visible shame which some would shun.

And you have proved beyond all doubt,
If we but yield He will lead us out
Of our comfort zones, our easy chairs,
To lead a life as one who dares

To follow His lead. Where will we go
Trusting only Him, when we do not know
The time, the place, the cost, the pain?
This much we know…It’s not in vain!

Ruth Campsall May 2022


 

May 2022 Gathering

May 10th

We began with an introduction from Alex followed by singing “Praise is rising” which together with “He is lord” was accompanied by some of our musicians; thus, setting the scene for an active and creative morning.

Alex led us in a time of prayer and reflection, and then Jan Kear gave a fascinating talk and biography of Mother Theresa as part of our series looking at the lives of influential Christians or “Heroes of Faith.”


What a full and interesting life led by this remarkable woman! Her work in the poorest areas of Kolkata [Calcutta] was true missionary zeal.

Sue, Alex and Alison explained the activities for the morning: some Indian crafts, regular activities and the start of a project for next month’s “feeding of the five thousand”.

There was a very popular table with Rangoli patterns using glue, stencils and powder paint with glitter and also one with stamps to design a Mandala pattern, involving great concentration, meditation and care.

Then we had expert tuition from Alison who introduced Mudroc!
Figures were fashioned using strips of paper and damp strips of Mudroc, wrapped in layers around pipe cleaner figures of all shapes and sizes and postures.
Some dexterity was required and it sparked plenty of conversation. This activity will continue in June.

The prayerful knitting was available as well as a colouring activity, which are very calming.

The coffee was plentiful, thank you Pam, and aided the creative writing.

Click here to read this month’s writing > May Writing

At the end of the morning we learned the song ‘Jesus the Lord said I am the bread’, delightfully accompanied by an Appalachian dulcimer, a Shruti, an Indian drum and Indian bells.

There was the opportunity to share our art work, creative writing and feelings.

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Our next meeting is planned for Tuesday June 14th from 9.30, with (fingers crossed) a picnic lunch in the quiet garden!!

Please come and join us, but do check this site or our Facebook page before your journey to make sure the session is not cancelled!


April 2022 Gathering

April 5th

Today was the second of a series looking at the lives of influential Christians. This month Saint Aiden.

We began with music and joined in singing “I the Lord of sea and sky” which together with “When I survey the wondrous cross” set the scene for the morning.

Alex led us in a time of prayer and reflection, followed by the second of a series looking at the lives of influential Christians or “Heroes of Faith”

We had a very interesting short talk from Barbara R about St. Aiden, an early Celtic monk who founded a monastery on the Island of Lindisfarne and re-established Christianity in Northumbria around AD 535. Aiden was well known for his ascetic practices and great gentleness.

A reading from Matthew 28 verses 18 to 20 helped us to understand how he saw God’s purpose for his life.

There was a very popular table with Celtic patterns involving great concentration and repeated over and round, under and over again!
Some concentrated on drawing and design

Others tried their hand at weaving or stitching. Over and under and over again! Not easy!!

For those who preferred it there were Celtic patterns to colour!!

Whenever one needed a break, the coffee was plentiful with flapjack, crispy nests; also wonderful Celtic Knot cheese biscuits, thank you Vikki for designing and hand crafting them.

The Celtic Knot Biscuit

Intricate and intriguing woven knot, a circle encircled,
interlinking loops on an infinite journey,
leading me along the path of life with God beside me all the way.

Our deconstructed bits of life,
large or small,
curved and twisted
can be reshaped, reformed, regenerated
influenced by God’s purpose.

© Barbara Rolison April 2022 Kingdom Arts

To aid concentrated private prayer or meditation, there was a table with a wooden labyrinth for finger tracing.

A slide show with scenes from Lindisfarne and the surrounding area was for browsing along with a book with illustrations of the Lindisfarne Gospels.

The craft activity from last month continued with block printing, based on the designs on the colourful African fabrics, as well as a table with materials for applique, a beautiful and delicate stitch craft.

The designs were again taken from a small portion of African fabric pattern.

The creative juices flowed on the writing station and there are new pieces for you read.

Past Present Future

The expectation of Spring fills the air
Mixing up yellows and blues and swirling petals
In the gusts of God’s breath.
New growth, new life
Can we feel blessed?
Ignoring artificial trappings dispelling arguments and wars
Letting the shadow of the cross fill our lives every moment
Hearing those cries of understanding
And Jesus’ gifts of love comfort and forgiveness
Echoing from the past for us today
And forever.
© Helen Mc Nicholl Kingdom Arts 05/04/22

At the end of the morning there was the opportunity to share our work and feelings – plus a final song sung to a traditional Celtic melody which many of you will recognise.

for those who like to know – the song is accompanied by Sue on a penny whistle and Trevor playing a shruti (an Indian instrument, I’m told).

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Our next meeting is planned for Tuesday May 10th from 9.30, with the enticing prospect of a home-made soup lunch!!

Please come and join us, but do check this site or our Facebook page before your journey to make sure the session is not cancelled!


March 2022 Gathering

March 8th

Today was the first of a series looking at the lives of influential Christians and we began with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Jan B talked to us about the life and determination of this most charismatic man – really interesting, and well worth researching if you know little of the man.

His influence in moving Christianity forward, particularly in South Africa, was amazing, from very humble beginnings which he never forgot.

Today’s theme was based on Africa

The morning’s activities included two activities inspired by African designs and prints:-

Printing by hand – based on the designs on the colourful African fabrics laid out in the centre isle with African artefacts. This will continue next month.

Appliqué – a beautiful and delicate stitch craft. The designs were taken from a small portion of African fabric pattern.

Rainbow spinners – as the colours of the spinners combined, they reminded us that all people, whatever their appearance or creed, can live together and share our world – even if it often doesn’t happen. An activity which took many of us back to childhood and caused much merriment and excitement in twirling a rainbow coloured revolving disk.

Work in progress:-

Finished:-

African drumming and songs – Sue led a drumming workshop in the Magdalene room where we learned two African songs and played a variety of drums and percussion, which became the finale at our sharing at the end of the morning with an opportunity for everyone to join in and sing and dance!

Rehearsal

Performance – including spinners (and dancing???)

Butterflies – a sign of hope – something we all need.

Carolyn was inspired to write this:-

When we see butterflies
And hear the hum of insects
As they hover among the flowers
And the tall, windblown grasses
And feel the gentle caress of the warm breeze,
Then, O Lord, our hearts are raised in joy
And thanksgiving.


It was an uplifting morning with plenty of fun for all.

Unfortunately, our thoughts also turned to the world problems and Ukraine. Our time of worship including prayers for God’s support and guidance for the world leaders during this difficult time. Let us all pray that a solution may be found soon.

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Our next meeting is planned for Tuesday April 5th from 9.30.
Please come and join us, but do check this site or our Facebook page before your journey to make sure the session is not cancelled!

It is our aim to return to longer meetings including lunch as soon as we can.


February 2022 Gathering

February 8th

Our first meeting of the year began with coffee [or tea], delicious homemade Shrewsbury biscuits, and a chance to meet with friends or talk with someone new; a most welcome interlude for those who felt able to join in.

Alex called us together to celebrate with songs of praise led by our musicians and we began with:

The light that shines is the light of love.
Lights the darkness from above.

This introduced the theme of “Light in our Darkness”. Readings and prayer helped us to be reflective, as we considered how God shone His light in our lives. Soon we were ready for a chance to express ourselves in art, craft or model making.

The Lego table was surrounded with enthusiasts in their eagerness to build a lighthouse! – proving a little more challenging than expected. The result was an unusually colourful structure but complete with an amazing revolving light.

The craft activity using black and white allowed free expression by cutting out shapes within a black square and displaying these on white paper.

There was a table with pastels for blending and also brightly coloured paper to make a picture.

These were all displayed at the end of the morning around a circle representing darkness into light.

There was a chance to talk about our work and how we felt. Sharing experiences with each other is a valuable part of each session and where we are able to show appreciation of skills and ideas.

The idea of a special Jubilee recipe book was discussed so watch this space!

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Our next meeting is planned to be on Tuesday March 8th from 9.30.
Please come and join us, but do check this site or our Facebook page before your journey to make sure the session is not cancelled!

It is our aim to return to longer meetings including lunch as soon as we can.


December 2021 Gathering

December 14th

This month, our session began with a short period of worship to reflect the season of Advent and the forthcoming Christmas jubilations.

Songs -“Light of the world” was followed by “Adore”; a reading from a new translation of Luke, the more modern language helped us to focus anew on the story of the Birth of Jesus; and a time of prayer and reflection led by Alex; after which Sue and Vicky introduced a range of interesting Christmas crafts for us to try.

There were well spaced tables [with sanitiser] where crafting took place.
These included exquisite patterns for tiny cross stitch;

tissue paper for collage pictures on Christmas cards

and potato printing for home-made wrapping paper. Everyone enjoyed their activities and continued their conversations.

We also continued toward completion of the installation of strings of suspended flying butterflies. A delicate structure which will be truly lovely.

Also, we had a wonderful display of Nativity sets from countries around the world laid out before us on the floor and a warm welcome was extended to all who came. There were interesting stories about where they had come from or why they were significant.

At the end of the morning we gathered with lit candles in a quiet atmospheric circle to sing the Graham Kendrick song “Like a candle flame” and receive words of blessing.

We wish you all

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Our next meeting is planned to be on Tuesday January 11th from 9.30.
Please come and join us, but do check this site or our Facebook page before your journey to make sure the session is not cancelled!

It is our aim to return to longer meetings including lunch as soon as we can.


 

November 2021 Gathering

November 9th

A warm welcome was extended to all who came, with an eye-catching display of items and memories of the past 18 months and of course bottomless coffee.

Our Kingdom Arts worship began with a song of praise “Strength will rise” followed by “Faithful One so unchanging”. The wonderful musicians played and sang with joy and enthusiasm encouraging us all to join in.

We continued with words of Hope from the scriptures and I felt particularly moved by the words from Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Following a time of prayer and reflection we shared more wonderful stories and memories from lockdown – including painting, sewing, decorating, and learning to play music and sing.

We continued by expanding our collection of butterflies for an installation to represent Hope.

There were well spaced tables [with hand sanitiser] where crafting took place.

There were folded butterflies, cut out butterflies, paper, sewn and origami butterflies to name but a few methods of construction.

The collection is numbering hundreds and will look amazing.

We ended with a blessing.

It is hoped that this installation will be completed by our next meeting on December 14th from 9.30 to 12.30 when we celebrate with the theme of Christmas! Please come and join us.

It is our aim to return to longer meetings including lunch in the New Year (hopefully!)


 

October 2021 Gathering

12th October

Eighteen months after our last meeting . . .

We‘re back!

This morning was a great occasion – meeting friends, chatting and feeling that warmth which is always present at Kingdom Arts.

A time of worship was followed by ‘Show and tell’ – an opportunity to share with others what we had been up to during our enforced separation. Nobody knew how the session would go. It had been decided that, for this first time back together, normal craft activities would be avoided as we worked out what everyone would be comfortable with. There were concerns that no one would appear and, even if they did, no-one would have anything to say.

Our fears were unfounded. The variety of activities was truly astounding. There were so many who wished to ‘show and tell’ that half of the items have been held over for next month, when we will also begin a project based on butterflies.

Meanwhile enjoy these pictures from our triumphant return:-

temple building (finished at last!)

Shefali gave us a thoughtful poem

Death where is your sting

In the falling of darkness, as the sun slipped into the covers and sleep.
It’s last message of the day was the sheer presence of beauty spreading itself across the night sky as dusk took over.
Brilliant colours of the blend of red and orange and hints of mauve and yellow.
Weaving themselves like a blanket covering across the sky.
And I knew beauty had visited us.
But for a moment, and in that scene and excitement a wonder born-again within me.
Warmth of delight coming alive with a sense of celebration and delight.

We both looked in awe and wonder and spoke out our delight.
My heart recognising then, as we shared playful, dancing banter between us.
That the silent majesty of the ordinary, like things we often never notice.
Friendships and love,
Sacrifice that emerges for a moment from a subdued presence
that stand out like the night sky colours.
Standing in their true radiance as gifts we could never have earned or achieved.
Thank you for allowing that beauty in friendship to emerge.

Shefali

Tea and coffee – an essential part of the morning

Return to Kingdom Arts- How was it for you?

Here’s what Ruth thought:-

Hi,
I was truly inspired by this morning.
On returning home I thought I needed to write some of what I had experienced.
This is what I have just written without editing just straight from my heart.

The Return of Kingdom Arts

A symphony I thought, or symposium perhaps,
Splendid variations on a theme.
A theme of praise and thanksgiving to creator God
Who has proved himself faithful yet again-
Faithful through the Lockdown storm
As he was to Noah, in the days of the Ark.
The time came to open the door and let everyone out
Tentatively at first, in wonder that the waters had receded
-yet muddy pools and boggy areas remained.
A new beginning, having survived the rain,
New life, new ways lay before them.

And so, for us, as we venture out
After months of Lockdown and isolation.
We meet to share life that has grown in the darkness.
Painting, poetry, crafts and song,
Living beings amongst the memories recalled,
And we experience the Creator, the Image Maker.
We, the images, have created after His nature.
Our Father has expressed Himself through us
In diverse ways-thus creating a symphony
To Himself-different instruments creating a tune
Of thankfulness, glorifying Him who created through us
In the darkest of days.

Joy and blessings,
Looking forward to more Kingdom Arts.

Ruth


Next time . . .

Our theme is HOPE . . .

. . taking the symbol of Butterflies . . .

If you have the time, we would like you to make a butterfly or two to hang within the church. Paper, fabric, etc. Make them anyway you like as long as they are light and can be hung. Bring them with you to the next meeting on November 9th. Not too big – you can get an idea of the size from this picture

Here are some instructions for one method of making a paper butterfly

You can find a video demonstrating this technique by clicking on this link:-

Easy Paper Butterfly – YouTube

If you click the link, you will leave the Kingdom Arts site and be taken to YouTube (you may well have to watch an advertisement – sorry!)

See you all in November

 

September 2021

HOT OFF THE PRESS

Hello to you all,

We are excited to tell you that we are starting KINGDOM ARTS again on TUESDAY OCTOBER 12th in Church at 10.00am. We have missed you so much and we are keen to make sure everything is in place for your first return so there will be a few modifications to our normal Gathering.   We want to reassure you that we will do everything possible to make you feel safe so the chairs will be socially distanced and hand sanitizer available. If you feel more comfortable wearing masks that’s fine especially if moving around the church. We will gather at 10.00 am as normal and will finish early. We have 1-1½ hrs in mind for this first occasion.

NO LUNCH – Sadly we can’t offer some of Jan’s amazing soups this month but coffee will be available. We need to take it slowly at first as I am sure some of you may feel nervous about mixing in groups again.  We will have a time of worship at the beginning but we feel we  cannot offer working on art tables and sharing of equipment this month but we are getting there, so………….

WILL YOU BRING with you to share anything you have been doing on the creative front during Lockdown ……….art, needlecrafts, poetry, photos of projects, music, models, stitching and so on. If you don’t have an “arty” item to bring, maybe you have something in your house which you treasure and which has a “story” or particular meaning to you that you could bring along instead. We can then have a good time connecting again with one another and do what we do best……. sharing and chatting in this lovely building and with you lovely people.

If you have nothing to bring, don’t let that stop you!
DO COME or let us know if there are any concerns you may have.

With our love to you and see you soon,

Alex x and Sue x

Jul/Aug 2021 Journal

July 8th

JULY AND AUGUST KINGDOM ARTS NEWS.

Hello to you all,

We hope you have a great Summer visiting family and friends now life seems to be returning slowly to what it once was.

We are excited about when we can meet you all again in person and share some artistic creations and God filled moments with you. We are in the process of planning when and how that will be but rest assured we do want to be back with you all! We will be contacting you again in September when we will have more ideas as to how this can happen.

Meanwhile we give thanks for the way God has watched over us all during this pandemic, the way we have kept faith with one another and kept in touch and for the Hope that He alone brings. We continue to hold onto the words from 1 Peter 1:3-4:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you”

Meanwhile if you have any creative juices flowing in art, poetry, collage, gardening, needlecraft do post them in for our website, for all to see.

Bless you all and we will be in touch in September.

Love Alex x and Sue x


July 11th

Ruth Campsall has been busy:

“I have called upon some almost redundant sewing skills in order to make this little fox as a gift for my granddaughter.”

‘Crafty’ Fox

July 12th

A pictorial reflection
Frances

July 30th

An unfinished Rag Rug

In this strange in-between time I thought it was a good moment to take out a unfinished rag rug, I had been making some time ago.

Rag rugs were made by prodding and hooking pieces of old material into burlap, often old sacks. The craft is still explored, but more often in North America.

Fortunately I still had lots of relevant material, so there was no excuse not to get started! I remembered that there were knitting groups, who pray as they knit. I felt that this would be a good opportunity to seek God’s guidance in prayer as one prodded.

As I worked prayers began to develop, but in this account I have only written down the ‘Prayer Points’ (PP)

To start with I was delighted and thankful I could still remember the actual technique needed. PP prayer for all lost talents, and self esteem that accompanies many with dementia and brain damage.

Many of my material pieces were cut from

clothing bought in charity shops. PP prayer for all charities struggling to raise funds during this difficult time.

Some of the clothes may well have been made in sweatshops both here and abroad, often in appalling conditions and with poor pay. PP prayer that these conditions will be improved, with children’s welfare being considered, and proper pay being given to the workers.

Having seen an exhibition of clothes collected on beaches which were washed up from shipwrecked refugee boats. PP prayer for all refugees struggling for a better life.

Years ago these mats were often all that people had to cover their floors. PP thankfulness that people are much more ready to recycle, and care for our natural resources.

The pieces were like people. PP we give thanks for all who have helped and shaped us in many different ways, now and in the past.

The actual sitting and quietly prodding, has created a time of peace. PP pray that in this difficult time people, through God’s help, find what brings them true peace and hope for the future.

The mat is nearly finished, and I am sure more prayers will form. I will still need help in making a backing for the mat, how true, it is only God that will give us all the strength and shape for wear in this world and into eternity.

Helen