Highfield Trinity Church in the Sheffield Circuit are hosting a series of exhibitions to offer people a chance to reflect and act in this age of uncertainty.
Hope, Art, Sanctuary took place in October and was designed to offer people the chance to reflect – and act – on the complex of crises which presently make for uncertainty and anxiety in all our lives. Hope, Art, Sanctuary brought together the woodcarving of Michael Bayley (a retired Anglican priest who in the 1990s served at Highfield Trinity when it was a Local Ecumenical Project) and the photography of Kevin Bonnett (a semi-retired academic). Both Michael and Kevin find inspiration primarily in the natural world. Both use art as a means of seeing not only how things are but also how they might be – imagination creating the possibility of a world very different from the one that is in crisis, nurturing the hope that drives action to make that difference.
With a view to making real the link between art and action that makes a difference, all proceeds of the exhibition went to one of Sheffield's foremost social change agencies, ASSIST, which supports people whose applications for asylum have been turned down. Some £5,000 was raised.
For Highfield Trinity one of the joys of the event was the evident delight of visitors in the building itself, its warmth, its light, its welcome, the way it presents as sacred space. Encouraged by this, the church plans to host more public events, starting with Stations of Lament. This brings together the needlework and quilting of Louise Carr (a past minister at Highfield Trinity), the glass work of Rachel Parkinson (a Methodist minister), and the voices of the Steel City Choristers. Louise invites visitors to bring their own uncertainties and anxieties to any or all of the seven stations of lament that she identifies – weeping, chaos/confusion, protest, comfort, truth telling, desolation, emerging hope. Rachel's glasswork focuses on Covid, and the multitude of emotions, ideas, judgments, that have arisen out of people's experience of the pandemic, lockdown, the loss of the 'normal', the search for a 'new normal'. The Choristers present sacred music and its powerful evocation of lament.
Stations of Lament is at Highfield Trinity Church, Highfield Place, S2 4UR on Thursday 10th November, Friday 11th November and Monday 14th November: on all three days it is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Saturday November 12 it is open from 11 a.m., to 2.00 p.m., followed by a concert from 4.00 to 5.30 p.m. Further details from firstname.lastname@example.org