Stop Press News 2018

Christian Arts Festival 2018

Magical, the stuff dreams are made of – there just had to be a supernatural force at work
Our Festival of Stars day on Saturday 16 June
An Almighty Power, far greater than all us  put together, grinning from Polaris to Betelgeuse!

A key theme from the compères was unique gifts – and all were on display in buckets overflowing.  Whether it was Building the Site, Performing, Feeding and Taking Care of Visitors, Providing Children’s Games, Festival Sparklies, Christian Message, Sound and Electricity, PR, Publicity, Compèring, Stewarding, Judging, Photography, Graffiti Wall Collective, Social Media, Refuse Collection, Bunting Decoration or Festival Advice –  the list goes on.

The Church of God of Prophecy Gospel Choir from Gloucester was the perfect opener, up-beat and uplifting. Children ‘drumming for the Stars’ was the cutest thing, 4 – 10 year olds who succeeded in making those pauses on time together!  Christ Church School with ISingPoP sang out with gusto lyrics of Lord’s love for everyone, their families loved the comedy and Magic of Tom Elliott.  The Open Mic Competition was a showcase of 6 talented Stars in the making – we felt compelled to add two more prizes. Out of the Ashes’ jazz and ritzy blues infused with faith testimony from Penny the leader got everyone toe-tapping. Young performers from the Wilson Collective gave us some smooth and moody classics to calm the mood mid-afternoon.

Graffiti Wall ‘brighten up your neighbourhood’ and Edufun workshops promoting cultural awareness were oversubscribed

The Highlight had to be all those gorgeous ‘little beings’ on the stage during the Strays Finale, dancing energetically until 10.30pm –  they captured the essence of what it was all about – a platform for budding talent, joyfully having fun with mature gifted performers to inspire – all about sharing with family, friends and belonging to a wonderful community.
The food was mega SENSEational:  Hema’s Vegetarian Indian Street Food and Mo’s Sushi.
Such Happiness – For all who were there, memories made for a long time to come.


Do check out our amazing highlight archive below from 2017
22 April – 7 May (Young People’s Workshops 18 – 22 April)


Graffiti Wall Youth Event
one of the many stimulating and inspiring events for young people during Christian Arts Festival 2017 All about having fun while learning new skills.

As you see, the 3 local artists and loads of kids really did ‘Brighten up their Neighbourhood’ and made a huge splash with vibrant colour and imagery to celebrate this year’s Festival and put it on the map in Cheltenham.

Plans are afoot for further creativity in West Cheltenham in June 2018. Watch this space!

The Big Sing was a fantastic event with Musical Director David Ogden returning for the second year through popular demand. Bishop Robert Springett of Tewkesbury and Area Dean of Cheltenham Tudor Griffiths opened the Festival at this thrilling launch with 600 singers and a large orchestra. Christians, non-churchgoers, all faiths and none took part in the various Community Choirs. A collaboration on a large scale bringing joy and hope, uplifting the audience in well-known songs, hymns and original work especially created for this years Wings theme.

Journey Through Conflict
Sell-out event a second year running with Major-General Andy Salmon CMG OBE – the last British General in Basra after three campaigns spanning 19 years of turmoil in Iraq. An exploration of conflict set against a backdrop of 3 works Art and suffused with live Piano Improvisations. A story of communities and faiths uniting to further peace and reconciliation.
With Call to Prayer by Ismail Ginwalla MBE

Jazz Rouge at All Saints Church.
What a setting in this mini cathedral of the Arts and Crafts movement on the 1st day of Cheltenhams Jazz Festival – Classic ballads, infectious Latin American rhythms and smooth French chic!

Dip in Art Workshops
took place at Christ Church, St. Barnabas, St. Gregory’s and St. Paul and St. Stephen, Gloucester preparing amazing artwork for the Festival.
Wow! Made in God’s image our Almighty Creator, how much potential for creativity we found out we have.
All to be enjoyed by other along this years Art Trail.
Wings – Collaborative Textile Art Quilt
was created with many churches, craft and quilter groups contributing their original textile art pieces with a traditional quilt border.  On display at various venues during the Festival and plans for showing the piece at the Cathedral in the future.

‘Worship is a patchwork quilt’– a whole in which the many become one while keeping their individual identities.  A patchwork quilt in the vast inter-dependent patchwork of creation’

Tree of Faith
is a collaborative piece of art that brought together Muslim and Christian women from Gloucester to give expression to our faith alongside each other while getting to know one another. Meeting over a period of 4 months, we shaped leaves that represented memories and filled our tree with meaningful texts and crafts.

 

 

 

 

 

The Mark Drama was the unexpected blessing of the festival

16 actors from 9 churches across Cheltenham


Our project coincided with issues on a local and international level that seemed to show a world pulling further apart, such as the inauguration of Pres. Trump in the USA, a controversy at Gloucester cathedral around exhibition of multi-faith art and the Westminster attack. Yet, our meetings on a Saturday afternoon were moments of conversation, laughter and creativity that left us energised and ready to take on the next week.

 

 

The Mark Drama

 

The whole of the Gospel of Mark in the round in 90 mins

No Props  No Costumes  No Professional Actors

Directed by Andrew Page – 110 productions throughout the British Isles

Sensational!

 

Apart from producing a beautiful exhibit, we formed friendships that go beyond this project. We have already planned further meetings and ways to continue our creative bonds – a rounders match and a Big Iftar meal within Ramadan for a start. We hope to extend the blessing that we have received from this project with other off-shoots as we take the Tree of Faith further afield.

 

 


 

 

An eyewitness account of the most extraordinary man who ever lived

 




London Community Gospel Choir stunned everyone, all 600 of ‘SOLD OUT’ Finale, at Trinity.

The audience danced until they dropped but still wanted more!