Clergy Comment April 2017

 
"I looked back at the dark bedroom, signs of our struggle were all around. The dislodged
lampshade, the Venetian window blinds fanning back into the room bent at odd angles,
and his half naked body."
 
This is the start of a short story entitled 'Run Out.' One of the privileges of being a 
member of the clergy is the opportunities to meet people doing incredible work amongst 
those most in need. I recently attended an Interfaith forum where the topic was homelessness 
across the borough. I learnt that over the last year there had been a rise in women 
rough sleepers. Over 75% of these women are escaping violent settings, and the schemes to
support them are perpetually under resourced.
 
You see this was personal ….. before meeting my dad, my mum was married to a man who
beat her. She was able to enlist friends to hide with, and eventually police intervention,
followed by a divorce which closed that difficult chapter. I felt anger against this often hidden
injustice. So whilst the presenters spoke I began to write. You can read the whole thing if
you'd like here.
 
Jesus told stories to adults which exposed the hypocrisy of the proud, and enabled
community amongst the poor. Jesus’s biography stimulates deep enquiry into our
own lives. During Lent we are inviting you to journey with Jesus to the cross and beyond,
particularly the final two weeks of Lent known as Passiontide.
One aim of my fiction is to draw attention to a contemporary issue. So might you choose a
theme from what we are calling Passion Portraits on display at St. Peter & St. Paul?
The Passion Portraits are sentence themes with the relevant bible reference attached. As
you explore the themes, you discover which move through you into music, photography,
writing, poetry, sketching, painting, sculpting.
 
What resonates for you about the theme? How could you portray it? The Jesus story
reference is the springboard, not the boundary, for your interpretation of the theme.
Themes like 'Body and Blood' have already led to a poem and a painting about childbirth.
The theme Silent Witness has prompted a short story about hearing loss triggered by a
bomb blast. 
 
We will use email and social media to feature your creations online. On the
evening of Palm Sunday we will host a special service of music and reflections using your art
either on canvas, on page, or in a frame. We are leaning to more heart than art so just have
a go and bravely submit your best offering on the theme/s that most stand out to you.
 
Writers, no more than 1000 words please; photographers, you may need to have different 
resolutions to email your work; composers, we may need a couple of audio formats with a 
brief introduction from you. Those working with images, please could you offer a few sentences 
explaining the context or setting?
 
Just send an email to azariah@stpeterstpaulteddington.co.uk with a note of the titles you are 
working on, and when you could submit.
 
Azariah France-Willliams
Associate Priest