Annual Report 2018-19

Trustees’ Annual Report for the period

01/04/18 – 31/03/19


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

Until 28/10/18

AGM

Mr Mark Lewis

Chair

From 28/10/18

AGM

Mr Harvey Bradley

 

 

AGM

Mr Henry Shelton

 

 

AGM

Mrs Barbara Harris

 

 

AGM

 

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

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

Additional governance issues: commission4mission has partnerships with HeartEdge, New Roots and theworshipcloud.com.

 

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

Art Talks & Walks

Our ‘Journey’ exhibition at All Hallows by the Tower began with a Private View at which former Bishop of Barking David Hawkins celebrated 10 years since the initial conversation between Henry Shelton and himself from which sparked into life the idea of commission4mission. He suggested that the development of commission4mission indicates that the good, the true and the beautiful are profoundly attractive characteristics of both God and the arts.

City Art in Faith: A Guided Walk of selected churches in the City of London took place on 25 October 2018 beginning at All Hallows-by-the-Tower. The guide was Mark Lewis, artist and lecturer.

This walk included seven churches and Mark gave a brief historical context for each of the churches visited and discussed the contemporary works of art to be found there and the artists who produced them.

Churches visited were: All Hallows-by-the-Tower – St Edmund King and Martyr, St Mary Woolnoth – St Stephen Walbrook – St Lawrence Jewry – St Mary-le-Bow – St Nicholas Cole Abbey. All these churches are featured in the City of London “Art of Faith” walk, which was written by Mark Lewis and Jonathan Evens.

Charitable donation:

Our annual charitable donation made based on our income for 2018-19 was £100.00 to the National Autistic Society.

Exhibitions:

Our first exhibition in this period was in June at St Saviour’s Church in St Albans for the Alban Pilgrimage. The Alban Pilgrimage is held in honour of the city’s namesake, St Alban, who died on 22nd June over 1700 years ago.

Entitled ‘Pilgrimage’, our exhibition featured work by: Hayley Bowen; Harvey Bradley; Irina Bradley; Lucy Crabtree; Valerie Dean; MaryJean Donaghey; Jonathan Evens; Michael Garaway; Clorinda Goodman; Deborah Harrison; David Millidge; and Adeliza Mole. The exhibition included ceramics, paintings, sculptures and an installation.

This exhibition gave personal insights into what pilgrimage means to the artists involved. David Millidge was directly inspired by the martyrdom of St Alban and Irina Bradley painted an icon of St Alban. Others treated the theme in terms of pilgrimage more generally or were inspired by the journeys of other figures from Church history.

Concerts were also held at St Saviour’s during the period of the exhibition including ‘An Evening of Sibelius’ by St Albans Symphony Orchestra and St Albans Chamber Choir performing ‘Light and Love, Music for Midsummer’.

The title and theme for our ‘Journey’ exhibition at All Hallows by the Tower in October could be understood in terms of journeys that are emotional, pilgrimage, personal, biblical etc. We encouraged our artists to reflect broadly on the theme and 23 artists responded with imagery that ranged from birth and death (the journey of life) to geographical journeys (including street scenes), plastic pollution (blown or washed around the globe), and Stations of the Cross, among others. A mix of abstract and representational imagery was created, utilising ceramics, collage, digital illustration, drawing, painting, photography and sculpture.

The exhibition included work by Ally Ashworth, Hayley Bowen, Harvey Bradley, Irina Bradley, Cathie Chappell, Christopher Clack, Valerie Dean, Jonathan Evens, Mary Donaghey, Maurizio Galia, Michael Garaway, John Gentry, Laura Grenci, Barbara Harris, Deborah Harrison, David Hawkins, Anthony Hodgson, Mark Lewis, David Millidge, Dorothy Morris, Janet Roberts, and Henry Shelton.

‘6 years and 26 miles’ by Hayley Bowen 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.

David Hawkins and Dorothy Morris both made use of household plastics in their work. David wrote: “2018 has seen carrier bags become the latest culprits of pollution. Yet, backlit by the sun they become angels, and remind us to look for ‘heaven in ordinary’. The Celts celebrated the sacred in everyday life. Even our plastic bags ‘caught in a thicket’ can pose as messengers on Jacob’s ladder, in Mary’s parlour or over the shepherds’ fields. As Donald Allchin used to say, ‘the mundane is the edge of glory’.”

Dorothy Morris said of her work: “These little paintings tell the story of the journey of our household plastics ending up polluting our seas. I live in an idyllic place by an estuary and one day I went for a 20 minute walk and collected 3 bin bags of rubbish! From this walk I have created 30 6×6 canvas images altogether, which I combine in sets of 4 images.”

Newsletters

Victoria Norton created termly newsletters with information regarding commission4mission’s activities and exhibitions/events to which our members were contributing. Our thanks to Victoria, who stood down from this role during the year, for all she has contributed to increased awareness of commission4mission through the newsletters she has edited.

Partnerships

In 2018 we joined HeartEdge, a new ecumenical international movement for renewal of the Church initiated by St Martin-in-the-Fields. Through HeartEdge we also formed a partnership with New Roots. New Roots seeks to meet the needs of those who ‘believe but don’t belong’, nurturing a place of support, resource and encouragement.

From July 2018 New Roots began to feature an ‘Artist in Residence’ regularly on their website and initially they teamed up with commission4mission to begin working with a number of artists. New Roots Artist in Residence are invited to profile a number of different works for a month, with the first artists featured being from commission4mission. Valerie Dean, Irina Bradley and Markos Kampanis were the first Artists-in-Residence to be featured by New Roots.

Retreat

The second commission4mission creative retreat took place at Othona, Bradwell, Essex in May 2018. This was a time for reflection, creativity and fellowship with creative time including drawing, painting, photography, reading, writing, poetry and beach-combing etc. Services were in St Peter’s Chapel Bradwell-on-Sea and meals and accommodation with the Othona Community. Othona is located on a peaceful and inspirational corner of the Essex coast. Thanks to Mark Lewis, who organised our creative retreat, we used liturgy from Rex Hunt in our services at St Peter’s Chapel combined with poems from Jean Lamb, Edwin Morgan and John O’Donohue. We also shared the drawing, paintings and photography we had worked on during the day. We also enjoyed a walk together around the Bradwell Ring.

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.

Terry Fyffe RIP

Terry Fyffe died in 2018 while in Melbourne. Terry is much missed by all in commission4mission. He was a regular exhibitor from the point of joining and always had much to contribute in terms of talking about his own work and that of others. Terry had found a new direction for his work in his final years and was greatly encouraged by the success of his final exhibitions.

Our secretary, Jonathan Evens, has said that it was a pleasure to organise an exhibition of Terry’s religious art at St Stephen Walbrook, including his new cosmic art. These final exhibitions were a real encouragement to him as people responded so well to his cosmic art and the St Stephen Walbrook show was a summation of what he considered to be the heartbeat of his work.

Among tributes to Terry from our artists was the following: ‘I loved Terry’s uncommon mixture of Aussie say-it-like-it-is effrontery, a healthy dose of cynical humour, and his figurative and abstract depictions of the mystical. I discovered Terry to be a warm and generous man with a wonderful and interesting life story – and a love of Jesus. Terry’s faith journey was certainly unorthodox, but he never lost touch with his church roots where, as a youth, he obviously found himself attracted to the mystery and symbolism of Christian belief, something that never left him and to which he returned in his paintings.’

 

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

 

Thanks

Particular thanks are due to our Patrons (The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell and The Rt Revd David Hawkins), our committee members (Harvey Bradley, Jonathan Evens, Barbara Harris, Mark Lewis, Henry Shelton and Peter Webb), 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.

Signed on behalf of the charity’s trustees:

Full name: Revd Jonathan Evens

Position: Secretary

Date: 18/10/19