Faith exhibition resources adopted by educational charity
The Westhill Trust has announced it is to extend the United Reformed Church’s CreateTalk initiative
Since 2013 CreateTalk has been an initiative supported by the URC Mission Department to help church projects and activities with the use of creative arts.
The initiative has confirmed that many people often find it difficult to talk about themselves, but are inspired to talk more easily about their journey of faith when they see faith-based images.
Now the URC has gifted to Westhill the resources produced within the CreateTalk initiative and the brand-name CreateTalk. Both are given for Westhill to use, in the context of its own work and in conjunction with its own resources, programmes and material. Westhill is an educational charity that supports faith initiatives.
Francis Brienen, URC Deputy General Secretary (Mission), said ‘CreateTalk has been a programme to help churches engage with their communities by using visual art as a stimulus for deeper conversation. We are delighted to see this expertise of community connection adding to the resources from Westhill.’
For many years Westhill, which is based in Birmingham, has recognised the importance of creative arts in enabling people of all faiths and none to come together in their local communities for personal reflection, shared learning and joint action.
In addition to the provision of financial grants for local community and religious education projects, Westhill has met these needs by providing free of charge to hirers a range of eight faith exhibits, including embroideries, garments, paintings and sculptures. Since 2004 Westhill has supported more than 150 local exhibitions throughout the UK.
Now named as ‘The Westhill CreateTalk Faith Exhibits’, this collection includes works by artists such as Peter Clare, Ruth Goodheir, Kate Neal, Elizabeth Gray-King, Jean Parker, Pamela Pavitt and Peter Privett. The themes of the exhibits vary but encourage conversations, reflections and action on such topics as bereavement, creation, inter-faith dialogue, reconciliation and the spiritual aspects of life’s major events.
In addition to these CreateTalk items being available for free hire, Westhill also provides guidance to exhibitors on how to promote their exhibition to ensure that it is a success in attracting visitors and prompting dialogue.
Richard Dickson, Clerk to the Trustees at Westhill, said ‘We’ve been hugely impressed by what CreateTalk has achieved to date and it’s clear that art exhibitions have a unique and growing role in inspiring conversations at grassroots level that both enable people to progress along their own journey of faith and enrich local communities.’