Our Story


CAF’s main aim is to provide further events: performance, competitions and workshops with long term impact in all the arts – to build on what has been achieved in the past 6 years. Our current theme EDEN Restoring Paradise, will be followed by GOSPEL 2023, both of which complement the new Diocesan Life Vision.  We are likewise striving to excite new people and young people, connecting them to sports clubs, activities & small groups, inspiring a love of the Gospels and showcasing courageous ways of worship e.g. gospel song writing, visual arts and performance etc.

The pandemic has enabled us to reach online audiences, resulting in wide coverage national and international, flexibility and longevity as witnessed through our Living Room Fest 2020, Inspires Sessions and Octopus creative workshops in 2021.  We intend to continue using technological advances to extend our reach.

  • March 2020 Willow Lantern Making workshops live & online YouTube
  • May 2020 Living Room Festival for Adults and Children
  • December 2020 EDEN, Restoring Paradise Art Competition (Judges: Bishop Rachel, PJ Crook) & Exhibition, Garden’s Gallery
  • February 2021 CAF film of Poetry & Art Christian Artists ‘Speaking Up’ for International Festival Versopolis
  • February 2021 Women at the Well Gloucestershire Women Interfaith Craft Project
  • April – August 2021 Octopus and Inspire Workshops 2021 Youtube videos online: Brush Lettering, Mono-Print, Charcoal Drawing, Circus Skills, Optical Illusions, Worship Song-Writing, Women at the Well Interfaith craft project with Gloucestershire Women, Graffiti/Illustration
  • April 2021 Music in the Park, Cheltenham
  • April 2021 Sermon Slam National
  • May 2021 Art Extravaganza in the Park, Cheltenham
  • May 2021 Comedians in the Park (Cancelled Covid Restrictions)
  • May 2021 De-Stresstival at Uni of Glos – lunch-time music recitals
  • Festival of Stars, Whaddon Saturday 11 September 2021 + Dog Show (rescheduled 4 times)
  • September 2021 Claudette Douglas, Black Blessed and British, live and live streamed
  • September 2021 Christian Artists Group part of Cheltenham Open Studios
  • September 2021 Textile Banner Project (COP 26) Cheltenham Heritage Open Days and Cheltenham Open Studios, Bath, Nature in Art, Twigworth, Glos.  Other venues to confirm dates for 2022/23


EDEN Restoring Paradise

Art Competition and Exhibition 2020

Judges:  P.J Crook MBE and Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester

Bishop Rachel said the ‘An amazing array of art and wonderfully diverse.’

The winners: Eleanor Thomas, Mike Tucker, Nana S. Brown-Wood, Deborah Harrison, John Barrett, Jennie Burge and Paul Hobbs

Highly Commended: Carole Bury, Sue Trickey

Commended: Elizabeth Green, Andrea McClean

There were 7 favourites chosen by our Judges: Bishop Rachel and PJ Crook out of over 100 entries ….. the calibre of entries was so high, they both came up with different winners!

This is unprecedented in our competition history!

If you want more insight into the Artists’ response to the theme,

a you tube film is available where each artist explains their perspective and practice.


‘Praise the Lord!’ the art exhibition did take place 3 – 7 December 2020.


VERSOPOLIS has launched a second global Festival of Hope following the huge success of their first in April last year.  An international platform of poetry festivals, Versopolis called out to organisations to submit entries on the theme of  SPEAKING UP! – tell the truth, speak up, be heard.  Art plays a crucial role in our endeavour to lend a voice to the oppressed, the weak and the excluded.  What is happening to our planet?  Who is suffering?  Who is listening?

Offerings from around the world went LIVE daily for a month – ours was aired for the first time on Thursday 11 Feb and available from that date onwards …..


Our Festival of Stars was postponed  from June due to COVID and is provisionally to be rescheduled to take place on Sat 19 June 2021. Thinking on our feet, in May/June 2020, we presented LIVING ROOM FEST! instead.

An online celebration of music and the arts with streams for grown ups and under 12s with 30 contributors including Singer-Songwriters, Gospel Choirs, Comedians, Visual Artists, Science Magician and Theatre Companies.  There were over 2,300 views and we raised £3,000 through a Crowdfunder page for our contributors facing uncertain futures with many cancelled tours, performances and exhibitions

Festival Feast and the Future
23 April – 12 May 2019
Feast your eyes on the many Encounters!!
The joy of life in all its fullness through
Music, Art, Comedy, Drama, Dance and Film

84 + EVENTS in 44 VENUES

Thank you to everyone who supported us with sponsorship, hosting events, performing, painting, leading workshops, stewarding, refreshments, driving, brochure distribution, donations, buying tickets, leaving comments and telling friends and neighbours about the Festival.

So we can  provide even better festivals in the future, do send us feedback of your encounters during the festival – nikki@christianartsfestival.org

Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir Finale Encounters 2019

Princess Hall, Cheltenham Ladies’ College

‘Wow! What an evening! Thank you so much for inviting me along to such a fabulous concert. I really enjoyed the performance. Congratulations on a hugely successful event! ‘ Alex Chalk MP

Elim Sound with Sam Blake

Extremely popular up-beat Worship Concert thrilling for all attendees – witnessing prophetic art also and young people got the opportunity to take up a paint brush and make their own mark.


Sermon Slam 2019

The Sermon Slam was won by Paul Chesworth in 2019 – the calibre of entries gets better every year since it’s inauguration in 2016 – an event not to be missed in the future.  BBC Presenter Richard Atkins is still hoping to win!

No Abiding City

Bishop Rachel welcomed Bishop Michael Lewis from Jerusalem and designate for the Middle East for his thought-provoking event ‘No Abiding City.’

Festival of Stars 2018


The LIVE open air Music and Comedy Festival invited the whole community to take part with an Open the Mic Competition, #StarFest of the Day, iSingPOP with Christ Church School, Tom Elliott Comedian and Magician, Out of the Ashes, Gloucester Gospel Choir, The Hawthorns and  a Graffiti Wall workshop for young people.  The headline act The Strays invited children and young people at the end of their set to dance with them on stage under the stars.  For some, making memories of their 1st Festival when they performed on stage may well inspire them to perform in the future!  Little residents from neighbouring houses were seen peeking through their curtains to take a look itching to take part !