Art is God’s idea

Christianity and Art



Art Alive in Churches (AAiC) exists to demonstrate to visitors the wealth of heritage arts and crafts in the churches of East Anglia and their historic European links. With a series of annual projects it aims to build an accessible archive of information about church heritage and specific arts and crafts with links to the current day. Since its inception in 2008, AAiC has run long weekends of exhibitions and demonstrations in Norfolk churches on particular themes relating to the church buildings and their artefacts. AAiC has also incorporated two other projects into its work portfolio; the East Anglian Wall Paintings Database and the Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey.
L’Abri, The Manor House, Greatham, Hampshire. Residential centre for study and debate on current Christian issues with a strong emphasis on art and culture. (E)
ACG Architects group, The Courtyard, 59 Portobello Rd., London. The ACG is an association of Christians professionally involved in the world of the arts, architecture, media and entertainment who seek to integrate their faith with their artistic activities. The ACG aims to unite and support Christian artists and performers from various disciplines so that they can be a transforming influence in the world of arts, media and entertainment. Members are from many diverse Christian church backgrounds. The ACG offers publications, meetings, workshops and events which seek to support and encourage its members to be fully professional, fully creative and fully Christian. (E)
ARC UK is an ecumenical organisation which provides free guided tours to visitors in European churches and cathedrals during the summer months. Our participants are volunteers aged between 18 and 30. In return for giving up three or four weeks of their summer, they learn to live and work as part of a community, appreciate other cultures and make the stones speak. (E)
Art and Christianity. Studies and promotes the engagement of the visual art with church and theology. Has been formed to respond to the evident need for a forum in which the rapidly growing numbers of those interested in the encounter between the arts (especially the visual arts) and Christianity can share their interests, projects and concerns. They include artists interested in deepening their theological understanding, theologians and clergy interested in viewing the arts in a Gospel or theological perspective, and lay people with a non-specialist interest in both areas of all mainline Christian traditions. Art and Chrsitianity aims to be a network linking people with these interests, as well as a pressure group seeking to improve training of clergy and of church people in general, an organiser of events of specialist and general interest and a resource centre. On the website the Ecclesiart section, a project to map significant works of modern (post 1920) and contemporary art in UK churches and cathedrals. (E)
Art and Sacred Places celebrates and encourages the interaction of art and religion by commissioning artists to make work in sacred places. While exploring and illuminating the relationship between contemporary art and spirituality, it finds new audiences for art and challenging new spaces for artists. Art and Sacred Places’ work is based on the conviction that art and religion share fundamental concerns and explore similar territory, albeit in significantly different ways. (E)
Arts Mentoring Group. Helps artists find spiritual direction in a postmodern landscape. Website based in a Reformational view of the arts with articles, resources and reviews, and a company for mentoring those involved in the arts.
Arts Centre Group (ACG), The Courtyard, 59 Portobello Rd., London. The ACG is an association of Christians professionally involved in the world of the arts, media and entertainment who seek to integrate their faith with their artistic activities. The ACG aims to unite and support Christian artists and performers from various disciplines so that they can be a transforming influence in the world of arts, media and entertainment. Members are from many diverse Christian church backgrounds. The ACG offers publications, meetings, workshops and events which seek to support and encourage its members to be fully professional, fully creative and fully Christian. (E)
Arts in Mission, The House of Bread, Ross Road, Christchurch, Glos. Arts in Mission aims to encourage, enable and equip Christians both amateur and professional within the full spectrum of the arts and to assist the whole Church in mission. It runs conferences, missions and other events, and publishes the Arts in Mission directory. 
Bezalel is an artists' collective building community and aspiring for excellence.
Catholic Creators UK is for Catholic artists across the UK. We aim to unite our faith with our art for the glory of God by sharing our work, ideas and aspirations; discussing the role of Catholic art and artists in the Church and in society; spreading the word about Catholic artistic events. Welcome to get involved, whether you're a musician, actor, writer, producer, graphic designer, fine artist, film-maker, architect or from any other artistic sphere. 
The Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture, University of York, is an initiative which seeks to explore and explain one of the most important influences on art, music, history, literature and architecture. The Centre, which supports teaching and research, produces books and innovative interactive resources, and works with partners to create interpretation schemes for important historic churches, is located in the Humanities Research Centre at the University of York.
Chaplaincy to the Arts and Recreation. This initiative relates the Church’s ministry and mission to the cultural life of the community. Working in partnership with parishes and other bodies, the Chaplaincy’s wide-ranging work includes: offering an informed and respected voice concerning the relationship between the spiritual and the arts; advising on issues relating to the arts and on the commissioning and placing of artworks; relating the arts to spirituality and worship; encouraging theological reflection through conferences, workshops and retreats; assisting with communication needs and acting as a resource to the parishes in their mission. 
Christian Arts is an ecumenical organisation embracing Christian artists of all denominations in the UK and abroad. the membership reflects a wide range of artistic interest and disciplines. Some artists work overtly with Christian themes - others work to broader themes but their Christian faith and world view underpins their practice. Christian Arts started as the UK branch of S.I.A.C. 
Christian Arts Trust. A charitable trust for the encouragement, promotion and development of public appreciation in those arts which are essentially consistent with the Christian faith and have as their primary purpose the propagation of Christian truths and ideals. 
Christians in Architecture and Planning (CAP) encourages and helps all Christians engaged professionally in the practice or teaching of Architecture, Urban Design, Land Use and Transportation Planning to examine their profession and theories from a Christian standpoint. Publishing a newsletter three times per year. Organises networking and prayer support through the Internet and other media, seminars on topical and professional issues; runs Planning and Architectural Theory Groups.
Church Care is the Church of England's national resource, supporting all those in parishes, dioceses and cathedrals caring for their buildings. It is the comprehensive source of information for everyone managing a church building. Most advice on ChurchCare also applies to other denominations. Also about commissioning new art to enhance church buildings. Whatever the date of your church, a new work of art will, by its very nature, become the heritage of the future, be it a stained glass window, a sculpture, a textile, a painting, liturgical furniture and furnishings or other installation.
Churches Conservation Trust. We are the national charity protecting historic churches at risk. We’ve saved over 340 special buildings which attract more than 1.5 million visitors a year. With our help and with your support they are kept open, in use and free to all – living once again at the heart of their communities. Our estate is the largest single collection of historic churches in the country, ranging from the virtually untouched medieval in idyllic rural settings, to ornately impressive Victorian in busy town centres. It includes ten challenging inner urban churches, which will need new uses and significant funds to survive.  
commission4mission exists to encourage the commissioning and placing of contemporary Christian art in churches, as a means of fundraising for charities and as a mission opportunity for churches.
Creatives Network. The Church in London is home to a surprising abundance of creativity. We are a people whose work in images, sounds, music, poetry, theatre, design, movement, textiles, sculpture and digital media, shape the city and world around us. So we’re asking: what does it look like to be a Christian and an artist in the weekday workplace? What does it look like for churches to engage creatively with artists? We want to connect Christians across London who are already immersed in the creative world of this cultural and captivating city. (E)
The Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association is a learned Society, founded in 1872 as the Ecclesiastical Surveyors Association, to promote good standards of design and repair of ecclesiastical buildings, be they churches, chapels, halls, parsonage houses or similar buildings, across all denominations. (E) 
Ecclesiological Society. For those interested in churches and their architecture in the UK, but also with links to churches and art in many countries. (E)
Freeform Arts, Oxford. This is a group of Christ-following artists in the Oxford area that is trying to create a community of like-minded people who want to engage creatively, sensitively and intelligently with all matters of faith, life and the arts. (E)
Genesis Arts Trust. Promotes the Christian faith in the arts and media through the personal ministry of Nigel Goodwin to numerous individuals in the world of arts and entertainment.
Greenbelt Festivals, The Greenhouse, All Hallows on the Wall, 83 London Wall, London. An annual UK Christian arts festival with seminars, music and arts. Greenbelt promotes an annual Christian arts festival which explores and celebrates the Christian Gospel in relation to contemporary culture. Occasional arts events and lectures. (E)
Historic Chapels Trust (HCT) was established in 1993 to take into ownership redundant chapels and other places of worship in England which are of outstanding architectural importance and historic interest. The object is to secure their preservation, repair and maintenance for public benefit, including contents, burial grounds and ancillary buildings. Buildings of all denominations and faiths can be taken into care with the exception of Anglican churches which are eligible for vesting in the Churches Conservation Trust of the Church of England. (E)
International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture (ISRLC) The Society has international connections including close links with the American Academy of Religion, and groups and societies in Canada, France, Scandinavia, South Africa, Australia, Japan and Korea. It also maintains close links with the Centre for the Study of Literature, Theology and the Arts in the University of Glasgow. The ISRLC exists to promote the study of literature, religion, and the arts through its newsletter, its website and its contacts throughout the world with groups and societies with similar interests. (E)
The Lodge Studio: gallery, courses, talks and refreshment weeks at the home of David and Ali Thistlethwaite near Cirencester, Gloucestershire, offers a unique and inspiring setting for creative work. (E)
Methodist Art Collection of Modern Christian Art. The Collection includes more than 40 works by Graham Sutherland, Elisabeth Frink and many other renowned artists. The collection can be borrowed and works are available for exhibitions. (E)
Modern Religious Art. This website displays and encourages the work of contemporary artists who are in some way motivated by or engaged with the religious. By religion it means matters of ultimate concern. Modern Religious Art is not prescriptive of any particular belief system, it may contain contributions from artists who follow a particular faith but also artists of no faith or creed, and there will be those who consider themselves atheists, religious humanists, humanists, or agnostic.
Morphe Arts is the new name for Interface Arts Graduates, an exciting new initiative launched by a group who used to work with UK arts undergraduates at UCCF (Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship), but felt there was a great need to provide support and encouragement to Christian arts graduates. There is a lot of interesting material on their website at (E)
Pilgrim Hearts Trust. Pilgrim Hearts, based in Berkshire, provides creative arts workshops, and training for volunteers and training for groups working with vulnerable adults. We run team building activities using creative arts, communications skills and workshops using the creative arts. We operate in a wide area. Our creative arts workshops help people develop their gifts, and regain their self-esteem through sharing experiences and self-expression. We work with many Christian Charities and community groups and with the local schools. (E)
Reformation of the Arts and Music. A website with a large number of articles and resources. RAM seeks to encourage appreciation of the arts, thereby improving the quality of the arts, so that the arts may develop richly and abundantly, bestowing its wealth upon the whole of society, in accordance with the Christian worldview, leading to a Reformation of the Arts and Music. (E)
Seeds. Christian creative resource service. Seeds has members in all arts disciplines. Seeds was formed with the intention of developing the use of arts skills in churches and led workshops in all arts disciplines to this end. Also offers clergy training courses. In the 1990s Seed started its involvement in schools, using the arts to investigate human rights and environmental issues. It developed theatre-in-education productions, led workshops and teacher training sessions and provided educational materials. Seeds aims are: To encourage creativity within Christian and secular communities; to provide creative resources; to enable churches to develop their own creative resources; to provide training in creative worship for clergy. Our members come from all varieties of churches. We publish a newsletter six times a year which includes workshop ideas for use with Christian faith groups. (E)
Shieldfield Art Works (SAW) is an arts organisation based in Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne. SAW operates on the intersection of contemporary art, theological reflection and community activism. As both an arts space and a project of the Methodist Church, it is committed to understanding how these three spheres can speak, interact and learn from each other. SAW believes art and creativity are integral parts of human life, and with art’s unique ability to articulate, question and enquire, we can enact positive change in our communities and the world. Shieldfield Art Work’s broad programme includes developing high quality art exhibitions, events, workshops, conferences and publications.
Society for Catholic Artists. The Society of Catholic Artists is for those engaged as professional or amateurs in the various disciplines of the visual arts. Our membership includes painters, stone and metal sculptors, architects, stained glass artists, silversmiths, potters, iconographers, and more. The S.C.A. encourages high standards in church art. We are prepared to execute any decorative or sacred work, and we bring together Catholic Artists and interested laymen in spiritual fellowship and collaboration. The Regional Group, which enjoys participation in national and international exhibitions and conferences, meets monthly for a varied programme of events, discussion and support. Membership is open not only to practising Catholic artists, and artists with Catholic affiliations, but also all Catholics interested in the visual arts. (E)
Sparks, London, a group of Christian artists working together. Contact: Mike Gough, (E)
UCCF. Works with students and college Christian Unions.The art section is called Morphe Arts (see under Morphe Arts). The website brings together a lot of good articles. (E)
All Nations Christian College, Christian College offering arts-based modules. All Nations is an international cross-cultural mission training college in the UK which recognises the importance of the creative arts in missions. Over the last years the college has delivered a series of innovative arts modules which are integrated in to the BA Hons Degree programme in Biblical and Intercultural Studies. The arts modules are streamlined in to the areas of music, performing arts and the visual arts. At every level they are integrated in to the learning experience alongside personal development, Biblical studies, cross-cultural awareness and practical ministry skills. In the area of performing arts, we offer performing arts in context and performing arts in practice modules, engaging in contemporary issues through performance and learning skills of teaching and facilitating workshops. In the area of music and worship we offer world worship music and ethnomusicology modules which explore global forms of worship. In the area of the visual arts we study contemporary art forms alongside western culture and examine the relationship between art, culture and identity. Our courses are externally validated by the Open University. Some of our modules can be accessed as short courses.
ASK, Centre for Arts and the Sacred at King’s, is a centre at King’s College, London, for research, teaching and public education in relation to the role of religion in the arts, and the role of the arts in religion. The focus on the arts is broad, and not limited to the visual arts alone. We look at questions of architecture and urban space as well as literature, music, film, dance and theatre. Our focus on the sacred is intended to ensure as rich an interdisciplinary set of engagements as possible, not prematurely foreclosing discussions when they do not obviously relate to one or more of the established religious traditions. Masters in Christianity and the Arts. Ben Quash Professor of Christianity and the Arts. and (E) 
The Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture, University of York, is an initiative which seeks to explore and explain one of the most important influences on art, music, history, literature and architecture. The Centre, which supports teaching and research, produces books and innovative interactive resources, and works with partners to create interpretation schemes for important historic churches, is located in the Humanities Research Centre at the University of York. (E) 
G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith and Culture, 6a King Street in Jericho, Oxford, formerly the Centre for Faith & Culture, has been the custodian of the Chesterton Library. Numerous researchers have come to do research in the archive. The Center's research is intended to contribute to the renewal of Christian culture and education. Apart from its Chesterton-related work, and the hosting of American students, the Centre edits and publishes the international journal Second Spring. The Centre also represents the UK outreach programme of Thomas More College in New Hampshire and is linked to the G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith and Culture at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. (E)
Maryvale Institute International Catholic College for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education, Birmingham, UK. Maryvale provides teaching and learning opportunities in Catholic Theology, Catechesis, Philosophy, Ministry and Religious Education. Offers a part-time, distance-learning, one-year art theory course: Art, Beauty and Inspiration from a Catholic Perspective. (E) 
Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture (OCCC). The concern of Regent’s Park College (Baptist College) to make connections between Christian faith and society today underpins all its activities, but finds special focus in the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture (OCCC). This institute provides research opportunities for scholars, and brings together practitioners and artists to reflect upon the place of faith and spirituality in their various fields. It promotes research into the nature of contemporary culture, from 'popular' culture such as film and the novel, to the culture which shapes such professional areas as law and science. The Centre provides lecture series each term, as well as conferences and publications addressing the arts and sciences and their relationship to the Christian and other religious traditions. The Centre also offers Postgraduate Studentships to research students in Oxford who are working in areas where faith and culture interact. (E) 
Sarum College, Salisbury. Theological College with Centre for Theology, Imagination & Culture. Offers MA Theology, Imagination & Culture. At Sarum College, we are laying the foundation to realise our vision of becoming an international centre for liturgy, worship and the arts. Alongside postgraduate research and studies in these areas, the College is planning to set up seminars with architects, musicians and artists who are interested in studying the connections between these disciplines and Christian theology and worship. Annual Liturgy and the Arts Conference and permanent and temporary art exhibitions. (E)
St Mellitus, Theological College offering modules in Theology and the Arts. (E)
University of York. The University of York together with the Churches Conservation Trust created a new (2020) postgraduate programme titled 'Parish Church Studies: Heritage, History, and Fabric'. The online program aims to provide a better understanding of the changing nature of Parish Churches.


Art and Christianity (E), the quarterly journal of Art and Christianity Enquiry (ACE).Twenty pages of features, exhibition and book reviews, news and comment on the latest from the combined field of art and religious faith. (E)
Artisan Publication, online journal of (E). Each publication grapples with an issue relating to being a Christian involved in Media Arts and Entertainment and up to now we have looked at the issues of Ambition, Rejection, Image, Money, Sexuality, Touring, Success, The Bible, Jesus, Church, Addiction and Fame. (E)
Church Building and Heritage Review Magazine (E). Architectural and artistic insights into every denomination’s places of worship. The magazine has tried to reflect what has happened ecclesiastically over the past two decades, both at home and abroad. Readers include clergy; architects; structural engineers; a host of professionals engaged in ecclesiastical development; plus an unswerving and growing army of people who just simply love churches. Six issues a year of a 84-page, full colour, A4 magazine. Showcases church projects, ideas for travellers and profiles that give a practical insight into just what it is like to be involved in the fascinating world of ecclesiastical architecture on a daily basis. (E)
The Journal of Stained Glass (E). Produced annually by the British Society of Master Glass Painters to publish and promote research in stained glass. The Journal's interdisciplinary approach to all aspects of stained glass has made it a valuable resource for historians, students and anyone with an interest in the medium as well as for designers, craft workers and conservators. Featuring wide-ranging articles by recognized experts in the field of stained glass, each issue includes a provocative guest editorial and sections on: the history of stained glass; research and methodology; contemporary practice; and technical inquiry, as well as reports on stained glass at auction, prizes and awards, exhibitions, conferences, obituaries, and a comprehensive book review section. The Journal of Stained Glass is the only English-language publication to cover all of these subjects in depth. The scope is increasingly international, with recent articles from or about England, Iceland, Canada, Poland, Ireland, Australia and the United States. (E)
Material Religion (E), the journal of objects, art and belief, is an international, peer-reviewed journal which seeks to explore how religion happens in material culture: images, devotional and liturgical objects, architecture and sacred space, works of arts and mass-produced artefacts. No less important than these material forms are the many different practices that put them to work. Ritual, communication, ceremony, instruction, meditation, propaganda, pilgrimage, display, magic, liturgy and interpretation constitute many of the practices whereby religious material culture constructs the worlds of belief. (E)
MONK (E) is an international arts magazine exploring creativity and spirituality. Founded in 2018 it aims to be an inner space online, a devotion to the creative human spirit and its energetic relationship to the transcendent. In MONK’S imaginarium we showcase new paintings, fiction, podcasts, interviews, essays and more, with reflection, humility and an enquiring spirit on the phenomenological mysteries of the imagination. 
Second Spring, Journal of Faith and Culture (E), published by the Centre for Faith & Culture in Oxford. This Centre (Catholic) has for the last ten years been the custodian of the Chesterton Library. Apart from its Chesterton-related work, the Centre edits and publishes the international journal Second Spring. (E)
Stained Glass (E). The British Society of Master Glass Painters newsletter Stained Glass is sent out free to all BSMGP members. It is a valuable means of keeping in touch with other stained glass makers, researchers and enthusiasts, containing news of forthcoming events, reviews of past events, publication notices and short reviews, diary dates, ads, members news and more! (E)
Cirencester (Gloucestershire):
- The Lodge Studio: gallery, courses, talks and refreshment weeks at the home of David and Ali Thistlethwaite near Cirencester, Gloucestershire, is a unique and inspiring setting for creative work. (E)
Husk, Gallery & Project Space, 649-651 Commercial Road, Limehouse, London. Husk is a new artist-led gallery and project space within the cafe and arts centre Departure, in Limehouse, London. Husk is a partnership between Departure and Morphe Arts, run by artists for artists with a particular lean towards new graduates' work. Hosted alongside Husk is Departure's Cafe Gallery which is a platform for local artists to exhibit their work. (E)
- Sacred Space Gallery, London. This gallery is dedicated to the sacred and traditional arts from divers world traditions. We also welcome contemporary artists who do not belong to any tradition per se, but choose to explore the sacred in their work. Sacred Space is situated in the specially refitted northern transept of St John’s Notting Hill, London. (E)
- The Temple Gallery, 6 Clarendon Cross, Holland Park, London: a centre for the study, restoration and exhibition of ancient icons and sacred art. (E)
- Sarum College promotes the arts in a number of ways, including its popular Sarum Lunchtime Concerts as well as both permanent and temporary art exhibitions. (E)
West Ham:
- Commission4mission exhibition space at All Saints West Ham showing work by Commission4mission members. (E)
Witney (near Oxford):
- The Meller Gallery is at the hub of the Veritasse company. The gallery adjoins the lovely Church Green in Witney. With Art Café.
Galleries in church spaces:
Holy Biscuit - Newcastle upon Tyne
Fabrica – Brighton
Studio Voltaire - South London
The Belfry - East London
The Crypt - North London
Copperfield - South London
Zabludowicz Collection - North London
Swiss Church in London - Central London 
Cookham (40 miles west of London, close to Maidenhead):
- Stanley Spencer Gallery. Spencer (18911959) was born and lived in the Thames-side village of Cookham in Berkshire. The Methodist Chapel in Cookham, which he attended, is now the Stanley Spencer Gallery, a gallery dedicated to his art. Many of his works depict villagers and village life and his religious paintings often had Cookham as their backdrop. Not far from the gallery is "Fernlea", the cottage where Spencer was born and lived in Cookham High Street. (E)
The Stained Glass Museum, the only museum dedicated to stained glass in the UK is located in Ely Cathedral.