Pilgrimage art exhibition for The Alban Pilgrimage

c4mpilgrimagecommission4mission’s next exhibition will be at St Saviour’s Church (25 Sandpit Lane, St Albans AL1 4DF) for the Alban PilgrimageThe Alban Pilgrimage takes place annually and is held in honour of the city’s namesake, St Alban, who died on 22nd June over 1700 years ago.

Entitled ‘Pilgrimage’, our exhibition, from 23rd – 30th June (9.00am – 5.00), will feature work by: Hayley BowenHarvey BradleyIrina BradleyLucy CrabtreeValerie DeanMaryJean DonagheyJonathan EvensMichael GarawayClorinda GoodmanDeborah HarrisonAnthony HodgsonDavid MillidgeAdeliza MoleDorothy Morris; and Victoria Norton. The exhibition includes ceramics, paintings, sculptures and an installation.
commission4mission’s secretary, Revd Jonathan Evens, says: ‘Our exhibition gives personal insights into what pilgrimage means to the artists involved. David Millidge has been directly inspired by the martyrdom of St Alban, while others have treated the theme in terms of pilgrimage more generally or have been inspired by the journeys of other figures from Church history.’



Hayley Bowen writes that her painting ‘6 years and 26 miles’ depicts the pilgrimage of 15 year old Mary Jones, a girl from a poor Welsh family, who in the year 1800 walked 26 miles barefoot to the town of Bala (and back again) across rough countryside to buy a copy of the Welsh language Bible from The Rev.Thomas Charles after saving up for one for six years. The story inspired the founding of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Michael Garaway says of ‘Steperegrin’, the new work he has preparedMGaraway_Steperegrin2018_28 for this exhibition: ‘Eighty eight hours over six weeks, a step pattern combined with a diagrammatic motif, suggestive of mazes, wandering pathways, maps, circuits, and with hints of landscape, this is “Steperegrin”. It combines three grids at varying angles to form the motif. The title refers to the use of a celtic step pattern, and also to an older term “peregrinate” or “peregrination”, which came to mean journeying abroad, hence the link to ideas of pilgrimage.’

IMG_5560Sculptor Clorinda Goodman was inspired to produce her sculpture of St Cedd following a visit to Chelmsford Cathedral. She saw their window of Cedd in the chapel depicting the saint nearer the end of his life and wanted to create a piece to reflect his younger life. Many of the images carved into his hair are like a pictogram, telling the story of his life, apart from the end of his life at Lastingham. The images on the left depict Lindisfarne, the boat in which he sailed to Essex, the Chapel at Bradwell and the Synod of Whitby. On the right he has the keys of St Peter to symbolise the outcome of the Synod – i.e. following the Roman rather than Celtic/Irish church. His hair turns into waves on the left, and on the right it turns into fire for the Holy Spirit.

Concerts will be held at St Saviour’s during the period of the exhibition on Saturday 23rd and 30th June:

commission4mission was formed in 2009 to help revive and encourage the practice of commissioning and placing works of contemporary art in churches and other public places. To enable this, we have a growing pool of professional artist members working in a variety of media and styles. Through art, we support churches in their ongoing mission, and also charities, as each year part of the proceeds from commissions is donated. Since 2014 we have built an ongoing, mutual relationship with the Oasis Trust. Oasis aims to create safe places where everyone is included, where everyone has a chance to contribute and reach their God-given potential. See https://www.commission4mission.org/.

St Saviour’s is a welcoming and inclusive Christian community built on the understanding that God accepts us equally, irrespective of gender, sexuality, race, social standing or belief – and believing that God calls us equally to share that unconditional love with all people, without exception. It is the Church of England parish church for the Bernards Heath area of St Albans, and pastorally serves the Marshalswick South Ward. Established originally as a daughter church of St Leonard’s in Sandridge during the city’s expansion in the Victorian era, St Saviour’s has always been in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of Anglican spirituality and worship. See http://www.ssaviours.org/.

The Alban Pilgrimage starts at 11.00am at St Peter’s Church, St Albans. Stunning 12-ft tall carnival puppets and a procession of around 300 children, teenagers and adults from the local community dramatize the tale of Alban’s martyrdom, with the final scene taking place at the West End of St Albans Cathedral, the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain. After the procession, a range of beautiful services will take place throughout the day. Everyone is welcome; whether to hear the stunning voices of the Cathedral Choirs, experience the peaceful chant of an Orthodox Service for the first time, or simply step into the building to find out more about one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in Britain. This year’s guest preachers, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark Cathedral and Stuart Burns OSB of Mucknell Abbey, recipient of the Dunstan Award for Prayer and Religious Life, join the celebrations on this special day.