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Dear God...
“The ocean is like God and raindrops are the religion. When they fall into the ocean they become one.”
Zoya Ahmed and Nurun Uddin

St. Peter's Church
Angels of Stonegrove

Angels of Stonegrove is an arts project based on bringing people together to nourish their creativity through a focus on angels. With the help of St. Peter’s Church we established and strengthened relationships across generational, ethnic and class borders by offering of free, regular art workshops which serve as a venue for learning new things, resulting in artworks that have become part of a semi-permanent display at our home in the OneStonegrove joint community and church centre. Originally conceived for face-to-face contact, the project migrated to zoom due to COVID but we aim to relaunch live when we can.
 

In recent years, the Stonegrove Estate has undergone a massive regeneration programme which increased the number of new homes but has not yet formed a new sense of community.

The restrictions caused by COVID-19 have not made things better. St Peter’s Church has been at the heart of the estate for almost 60 years so we want to support social cohesion and build social capital.

That is why we planned to bringing our community closer together through art, creating a virtual space where individuals can grow and express themselves, stimulate community cohesion and enhance social relationships.

The “Angels of Stonegrove” project’s goal was to create a fun, positive, creative and inclusive environment that nurtures abilities, promotes self-esteem and builds self-confidence. It employed art, a God-given gift, that is creative, inspiring and transformative, as a media to achieve this goal.

Through art and the art-making process focused on angels, people came together from different faiths- Christian, Muslims, Jews and atheists, age groups – young people, adults and the elderly, and abilities - the physically disabled, those with mental illness and others with special needs.
 
The subjects of the activities centred on the theme “angels”, giving members guided opportunities to depict them using different art media. This theme crosses faith and cultural boundaries

The art workshops included the creation of bean mosaic art, pasta collage, craft stick art, watercolour painting, acrylic painting, torn-and crumpled-paper collages, origami and air-drying clay sculptures.

These art activities were led and facilitated by experienced local artist and Art for Wellness Facilitator, Esperanza Walsh, through the guidance and pastoral leadership of Revd. Simon Rea of St. Peter’s Church. 

A virtual environment using videoconferencing was created, instead of using a hybrid delivery which was initially planned, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This virtual environment is where people met, got to know each other and enjoyed expressing themselves and their own vision of angels including a two-hour artistic meditation on Easter Eve where participants meditated and prayed using colours.
 

For more information please see the Angels of Stonegrove website.
 

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