Annual Report for 2017-18

DSC01151Trustees’ Annual Report for the period 01/04/17 – 31/03/18

Section A                        Reference and administration details

Charity name: commission4mission

Registered charity number: 1161109

Charity’s principal address: 6 Bellvue Road, Romford RM5 3AY

Names of the charity trustees who manage the charity

Trustee name Office (if any) Dates acted if not for whole year Name of person (or body) entitled to appoint trustee (if any)
Revd Jonathan Evens Secretary & Treasurer   AGM
Mr Peter Webb Chair   AGM
Mr Mark Lewis     AGM
Mr Harvey Bradley     AGM
Mr Henry Shelton     AGM
Mrs Irina Bradley   Until 04/09/17 AGM
Mr Anthony Hodgson   Until 04/09/17 AGM
Mrs Barbara Harris     AGM

IMG_9270 (2)Section B              Structure, governance and management

Description of the charity’s trusts

Type of governing document: Constitution adopted 14th March 2015

How the charity is constituted: Association, with a membership of 44

Trustee selection methods: Trustees are appointed or reappointed annually at the Annual General Meeting

Additional governance issues: commission4mission has partnerships with Faith & Image and

IMG_9248 (2)Section C                    Objectives and activities

Summary of the objects of the charity set out in its governing document

To promote the arts and advance religion by:

(a) reinvigorating the role of Christian art in church communities and in public life through fostering awareness (by means of exhibitions, study days etc.) of the value of contemporary Christian art in public spaces, as an inspiration to and resource for teaching, learning and worship;

(b) encouraging the commissioning and placing of contemporary Christian art in churches; and

(c) enabling artists to develop their skills and practice in contemporary Christian art through the sharing of information and ideas in networking events, art workshops and similar activities.

Summary of the main activities undertaken for the public benefit in relation to these objects

commission4mission benefits the public by enhancing church and public spaces through the commissioning and display of contemporary art, and by sharing the proceeds of commissions and sales of this work with other charities.

Our objects are achieved by:

  • Providing opportunities for churches and other organisations to obtain and commission contemporary Christian art.
  • To enable artists to develop their skills and practice in contemporary Christian art through the sharing of information and ideas.
  • To provide information, ideas and examples of contemporary Christian art and its use/display within church and public settings; and
  • To generate funds for charities through commissions and sales of contemporary Christian art, which in turn encourages and supports the commissioning process.

 Section D                      Achievements and performance

Summary of the main achievements of the charity during the year

Marks talk 1Art Talks

We organised a programme of art talks during ‘The Cross’ exhibition at Norwich Cathedral. These included interpretations of The Cross in contemporary art and culture, exploration of issues in contemporary commissioning, and an exposition on themes from ‘The Bridge’ using spoken word, poetry and song. The programme included:

  • Understanding abstraction as a door to the spiritual – Thursday April 20th (The Hostry) – Mark Lewis offered thoughts about the way in which abstraction, particularly in its non-objective form, can give access to spiritual experience or awareness. In doing so, he used his works included in ‘The Cross’ exhibition to illustrate his thoughts and ideas.
  • Icons in the Making – Saturday 29 April (Weston Room) – Dr Irina Bradley explored the history of Byzantine art as well as the icon painting process with its rich symbolism and spirituality. Dr Bradley is a scholar and an icon painter, who was awarded a PhD for her thesis Spiritual Striving in Icon Painting with the emphasis on images of St George and the Dragon and a series of icons and contemporary paintings she created. Upon her graduation Dr Bradley’s work was exhibited at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London, where she undertook her studies and where she is a visiting tutor for the MA and general public programs. Dr Bradley’s work is worldwide including churches, private chapels and private collections.
  • Congruity and controversy: exploring issues for contemporary commissions – Monday 1 May (Weston Room) – St Stephen Walbrook in the City of London has been described as one of the few in which the genius of Sir Christopher Wren shines in full splendour. As Priest-in-charge at St Stephen Walbrook, Revd Jonathan Evens is regularly called on to tell the story of how this English 17th-century masterpiece by Wren acquired a modern altar by Henry Moore complemented by a circular re-ordering and further commissions from Patrick Heron, Hans Coper and Andrew Varah. In this lecture Jonathan showed how this story brings into focus some of the key issues and questions regarding modern or contemporary commissions while furthering discussion of those same issues.
  • Exposition on ‘The Bridge’, 12 & 19 May (The Hostry) – Exposition of ‘The Bridge’: Anthony Hodgson took viewers on a journey exploring the themes of his painting ‘The Bridge’ by using spoken word, poetry and song.
  • Interpretations of the Cross in Contemporary Art and Culture, 20 May (Weston Room) – In today’s secular society, it is perhaps surprising that artists still find themselves drawn to the Christian cross as a means of expression. The cross has never been an event about which one can remain neutral; from the start it was an offence. Contemporary artists’ interpretations have taken many forms. Wendy McTernan looked at some examples and saw how, in unexpected and sometimes shocking ways, Jesus’ story becomes part of theirs – and ours.

Art of FaithArt Trails:

The City of London has the greatest concentration of historic church buildings anywhere in the country. In the 16th century there were 111 churches in the City. 80 were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 with 51 subsequently rebuilt under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren. Today there are no fewer than 42 historic churches situated within the Square Mile, all of which are either Grade I or Grade II listed, and together they illustrate an extraordinary breadth of architectural history.

Less well known is the extent to which they contain significant examples of art commissioned from the 20th century onwards. Many of the churches in the City were damaged by bombing during World War II, providing opportunities in the post-war reconstruction to engage with contemporary art. These artworks are by prominent modern artists such as Jacob Epstein, Patrick Heron, Damien Hirst, Henry Moore, John Skeaping and Bill Viola, as well as work by other reputable artists such as Thetis Blacker, John Hayward and Keith New.

commission4mission members Mark Lewis and Jonathan Evens researched the Art of Faith walk produced by the Corporation of London with the support of the Diocese of London. This walk enables walkers to discover contemporary works of art in the City’s historic churches, including work by Henry Moore, Damien Hirst and Jacob Epstein.

c4m Card 1aCards

New cards featuring designs by commission4mission artists were available for sale during our Vision exhibition and beyond. Our thanks to Mark Lewis for preparing the new selection of cards.

Charitable donation:

Our annual charitable donation made based on our income for 2017-18 was £100.00 to the National Autistic Society.


‘The Cross: designs & reflections’ was an exhibition of works, talks and seminars by members of commission4mission which was held in The Hostry at Norwich Cathedral from 20 April to 29 May 2017. The exhibition was based on personal responses to the cross through designs, concept drawings, digital prints, wood & stone carvings, pottery & jewellery, textiles, sculpture, paintings and drawings. The exhibition included work by: Hayley Bowen, Harvey Bradley, Irina Bradley, Jonathan Evens, Terry Ffyffe, Rob Floyd, Dorothy Gager (USA), Maurizio Galia (Italy), Michael Garaway, John Gentry, Michelle Gillam-Hull, Clorinda Goodman, Judy Goring, Deborah Harrison, Tim Harrold, Anthony Hodgson, Jean Lamb, Mark Lewis, David Millidge, Victoria Norton, Colin Riches, Janet Roberts, Henry Shelton and Peter Webb. In addition, a church congregation project was completed by members of St Mark’s Church, Oulton Broad, Suffolk where people of all ages contributed individual crosses for a large banner to be displayed at this exhibition, as well as later in their church.

Vision lecture‘Vision’ at St Stephen Walbrook in September 2017 was a group exhibition by commission4mission. ‘Vision’ was intended as a broad theme open to wide interpretation and enabling exploration of sight, visions and revelations. Artists taking part showcased their individual engagements with the theme and included Ally Ashworth, Hayley Bowen, Harvey Bradley, Irina Bradley, Christopher Clack, maryjean donaghey, Jonathan Evens, Terence Ffyffe, Rob Floyd, Maurizio Galia (Italy), Michael Garaway, John Gentry, Clorinda Goodman, Judy Goring, Laura Grenci (Italy), Barbara Harris, Deborah Harrison, Tim Harrold, David Hawkins, Jacek Kulikowski, Mark Lewis, Adeliza Mole, Colin Riches, Janet Roberts, Henry Shelton, Monica Thornton and Peter Webb. A reception to launch the exhibition was held on Monday 4 September During this reception commission4mission Associate member, Wendy McTernan, gave a talk entitled ‘Interpretations of the Cross in Contemporary Art & Culture’. In today’s secular society, it is perhaps surprising that artists still find themselves drawn to the Christian cross as a means of expression. The cross has never been an event about which one can remain neutral; from the start it was an offence. Contemporary artists’ interpretations have taken many forms. Wendy looked at some examples and saw how, in unexpected and sometimes shocking ways, Jesus’ story becomes part of theirs – and ours. Our AGM was also held.


Victoria Norton created termly newsletters with information regarding commission4mission’s activities and exhibitions/events to which our members were contributing.


The first commission4mission creative retreat took place at Othona, Bradwell, Essex in April 2017. Our time at Othona was intended to be an opportunity for commission4mission members to enjoy fellowship and have space for individual creativity and reflection. Those that attended responded to the locality in word, paint, drawing or photography at their own pace.  Bradwell is a beautiful coastal location and the 6th Century chapel is a haven of peace. Our time spent there quietened souls and was conducive to spiritual contemplation and the stimulation of new ideas.

The retreat programme included:

  • Exploring the Bradwell locality – visiting the Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall and nearby coastal walk. A brief introduction to the history of the area.
  • Opportunities for participants to discuss their work and practice.
  • Worship in the Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall.
  • Creative time. Drawing/painting /photography/ writing poetry/ beach-combing, etc….. Responding to the local surroundings.
  • Open discussion and fellowship on the theme of “The relationship between art and spirituality”.
  • Micro-exhibition. Sharing the fruits of our labours and reflections on our time at Othona.


On Monday of Holy Week Jonathan Evens led Alternative Stations of the Cross at St Martin-in-the-Fields, a time of contemplation on the Stations of the Cross using images, meditations, music and prayers. For this service he used meditations and images from ‘Mark of the Cross’, his collaboration with Henry Shelton, as well as showing the Stations of the Cross created by Valerie Dean.

In undertaking these activities the trustees have had regard to the guidance issued by the Charity Commission on public benefit.


Particular thanks are due to our Patrons (The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell and The Rt Revd David Hawkins), our committee members (Harvey Bradley, Irina Bradley, Jonathan Evens, Barbara Harris, Anthony Hodgson, Mark Lewis, Henry Shelton and Peter Webb), our Independent Examiner (Ranjit Solomon), our newsletter editor (Victoria Norton), and David Millidge (for his photographic and marketing work).

The trustees declare that they have approved the trustees’ report above.

c4m accounts 1718