Transformation: our mural

Transformed! That is what has happened to our dreary hoarding protecting essential scaffolding in the Chancel. Thanks to local artist and volunteer Gill Starkie it has taken on a new life and far from being an eyesore it is now another reason to pop in.

2023.02.15.Completed mural.Photo G Starkie 12wide sm The completed Mural. Photo: Gill Starkie

Here's what Gill says: "I was asked to paint the ugly wooden screens which separate the church from the scaffolding. As you sit in the pews, it is one of the joys to look around and take in the beauty of the architecture and the fine details, so it seemed right to create a backdrop that didn’t distract, but complemented – in colour and content. Creating a sky and introducing a little flavour of the renaissance seemed fitting, an opportunity to imagine life 1000 years ago when the church was built. The central sewn textile piece (which masks the contractors’ door) represents the nature and wildlife that is all around the church. The cross and the rainbow are symbols of forgiveness, inclusivity and acceptance.

2022.09.Chancel scaffolding.Photo G Barnes sm Before painting began. Photo: Gilly Barnes

Spending a few freezing days in the church, painting and creating, I got to appreciate how life must have been way back when this beautiful church was built – from the planning, design and conception, the building, the decoration and window fitting, the many years of labour and the varied lives of those who frequented the building – both as a place of worship and as a place to find sanctuary and social entertainment. There was no heating then – just the right clothes!

Our church is going through a ‘renaissance’ – embracing the new ideas, the new plans, new attitudes and restoring a church that is surrounded, supported and held tight within this village of stories.”

2023.02.15.Completed mural.Photo G Starkie 15crop sm Self Portraits from Forncett Primary School pupils. Photo: Gill Starkie

The work was finished with wonderful panels of self portraits done by every child at Formcett Primary School. “The screens tell a village story and the children’s textile work means that the school will be marked within this space, ” says Gill.

Come and take a look.  The church is open every day 10am – 4pm – please drop in.

We are so grateful to Gill for her creativity and time which is resulting in such a transformation and to the children and teachers at Forncett Primary School who have made such a special contribution.  The hoarding is likely to be in place for 2 years until the church undergoes a major restoration to stabilize the structure so that it can be removed from the Heritage at Risk Register and can develop as the active place of worship and respite it has always been and the community heritage hub it will become. A major fund-raising campaign is underway – find out more here. If you are able to help please use the DONATE button. Every little helps.

2022.12.In progress.Photo M Starkie Lsm The artist at work - Gill Starkie Photo: Martin Starkie





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