Creative arts for everyone, inspiring communities for the glory of God
CHELTENHAM CHRISTIAN ARTS is a Trust with Registered Charity status (1164117) which offers a wide range of Christian faith-inspired arts projects annually at our festivals.
Our AIM is to provide an opportunity for the town’s churches to come together in celebration of our artistic Christian heritage through all the contemporary and traditional arts and share the vibrancy, the joy and the colour of this God-given creative expression with the local community in Gloucestershire and outreach followers from further afield either online or at LIVE events. We also invite International Stars to perform, exhibit artwork and to lead workshops.
Meet the Team
Behind the scenes of the Christian Arts Festival in Cheltenham are the Charity Trustees of Cheltenham Christian Arts who have organised large scale festivals in 2016, 2017 & 2019 and one day community festivals ‘Festival of Stars’ focusing on West Cheltenham in 2018, Whaddon in 2021 and South Cheltenham in 2022. The Trustees decided in 2020 to hold events throughout the year instead of over an intensive 3 week period as in previous years until we can safely return to our proposed schedule of presenting a large biennial festival with a one-day festival of music and comedy, Festival of Stars, in the alternate year.
During Lockdown, CAF have presented an online LIVING ROOM FEST! Two streams for adults and children in 2020 and online Creative Workshops, The Inspires and Octopus (kids) Sessions, in 2021. They have held other events: EDEN, Restoring Paradise, Art Competition & Exhibition in the Garden’s Gallery, Cheltenham, Music in the Park, Pittville Park, Cheltenham and an Arts Extravaganza and Demos in Pittville Park, Cheltenham. More detail on Our Story page.
The Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester – Patron
Bishop Rachel sums up the 2 hugely successful Festivals in 2016 & 2017: ‘I have witnessed a wonderful showcase where creative artists share their faith through many expressions such as song, visual art, drama and storytelling. The events have been enjoyed by a wide range of audiences from different faith backgrounds and those of no faith who respect the Christian invitation to everyone to celebrate, explore and discover more of life in many joyful and vibrant ways.’
Rupert Kaye – Chair
Rupert Kaye is a primary school headteacher, Christian and performer. Rupert loves to bring together people of all ages from a wide range of backgrounds to write, jam, perform and enjoy art and entertainment. He is committed to working with adults and children of all faiths and none to promote inclusion, tolerance, equality, harmony and fun. Rupert lives in Bath, works and worships in Frome, and looks forward to spending more time in Cheltenham!
Nikki Seville – Project Leader & Founder Trustee
Nikki organises various artistic and charitable events across Cheltenham – she was Coordinator for Cheltenham Prayer for Schools Network for 5 years and organises ‘Creative Arts’ events for the Diocese of Gloucester. She takes an Open the Book Team into local primary schools to re-enact bible stories in assemblies for primary school children. She is a youth leader for a local church, leads a homegroup for the ‘beautifully mature.’
Beck Donaldson – Founder Trustee
Beck is a founding Trustee of Cheltenham Christian Arts Festival and Journey Through Conflict. She works with artists and musicians to produce a diverse range of inspiring performances throughout the UK. Former organ scholar and Theology tutor at University of Gloucestershire, Beck leads worship in churches throughout the Cotswolds where she also presents free classical music coffee concerts.
Georgina Jardim – Founder Trustee – resigned May 2022
Georgina has an interest in relations between religions and their expressions in public life. She has published on interfaith relations and established a group for Muslim and Christian women to read scriptures together while producing crafts. They assembled the Tree of Faith exhibition for the 2017 Christian Arts Festival and the Women at the Well banner for the Inspire Series 2021. Georgina has also facilitated scriptural reasoning sessions as part of Cheltenham Christian Arts.
Revd Simon Howell – Trustee (on sabbatical)
Simon was born in the West of England, trained as a professional musician (drums/percussion/piano), and taught in schools and as a management trainer,
then becoming a church minister in Hong Kong, London and Bristol, before moving to Stroud. He has a Pastoral Theology MA, majoring in interfaith studies.
Simon shares the passions and the contemporary concerns of spiritual people in free thinking, creative communities.
Myn Cotterill – Trustee and Treasurer
Myn is a qualified accountant with an Arts degree who works for a local charity, and can’t help volunteering for good causes.
Deborah Harrison – Trustee
Debs is a full time professional Sculptor who specialises in Stone. Based at Gloucester City Works where she also takes Carving Courses and welcomes commissions. Previous roles include: Local Preacher, Westminster Creative Community Coordinator, Youth and Children’s Worker, Cathedral School Chaplain and Primary School Teacher. MA in Marketing and Degree in Biological Sciences from Birmingham University.
Bean Baker – Trustee
Bean is Creative Director; Head Of Services & Younger Generations at Elim Church Cheltenham.
Worship leader, songwriter and musician. He is passionate about creativity and how it can be used to draw people into God’s presence. Alongside leading the worship and tech team, Bean also heads up our media and creative department.
He also leads the Bean Baker Band ‘ Whether playing small, intimate gigs or large, crowd filling ones Bean uses music to meet people where they are at. Having enjoyed playing and performing music since he was young he has long known that music could change his life. The band embrace the weird and wonderful world of gigs from small cafe style events to playing at Big Church Day Out, New Wine, Latitude, Soul Survivor, Naturally Supernatural and every where in between.
Niki Kent – Trustee
Niki is a professional printmaker, Arts in Health practitioner and Creative Wellness Coach, combining her love of creativity and engagement with the natural world to cultivate renewed mindsets that encourage Christian women to break free from negative thoughts and beliefs around food and body image so they can live a life of fullness and freedom.
She has been involved with the festival since it beginnings, running printmaking workshops for children and adults. She’s worked as a community artist teaching printmaking across the Forest of Dean and Gloucestershire, and most recently facilitating an arts on referral programme. Niki is passionate about enabling people to engage in the creative process to support recovery and healing and boost physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Niki helps manage her local fine art gallery as well as tending to a number of gardens on the banks of the River Severn. She is a local youth mentor and delivers a community course that offers help and hope for those living with eating disorders.
Charles Campbell – Trustee
Charles was born in Gloucester and has a passion for the City’s wellbeing. Charles comes from a very musical family and is a keen guitarist who was brought up with a Pentecostal church experience and plays in his church worship team. Charles also happens to be the Senior Pastor of the Church of God of Prophecy in Gloucester and loves engaging with the community there. Charles is an avid believer that the gifts we have been blessed with are to be shared with and to bless others.
Anthony Oliver – Fundraising Consultant
Anthony is an experienced Fundraising Consultant working with some amazing charities. Skilled in Nonprofit Organisations, Strategic Planning, Capital Campaigns offering both short and long term fundraising support. Experience includes working for disability, education, arts charities and Christian/Church projects.
Anthony has supported Cheltenham Christian Arts from the beginning in 2015 advising on charitable status, our constitution, case of support, social media, fundraising and sponsorship.
He sat on the board of Trustees from 2017 – 2020 and remains very much part of the team.