Objects of Hope

You’re invited to make a video of yourself talking about an object that’s important to you.

Here’s the idea: take one thing, whether it’s a mug, a postcard, a painting, or some other object that’s meaningful for you, and talk about it as an object that gives you hope during the pandemic. Great to make theological/faith connections too if you like, but not essential.

This is an open project for everyone – if you know anyone who would like to contribute, feel free to spread the word. Everyone is welcome to participate. All ages, any object.

We need this by Wednesday 27 May. Could be really rough and simple, just you and the camera – nothing fancy or formal. 3 minutes is the perfect length.

If you’d like to take part, send your video to ayla@hampsteadparishchurch.org.uk .

Using WeTransfer.com to send the video is best, because the files will be too big for regular email.

Looking forward to seeing your amazing objects!

Memories of Hampstead

Sandro Gogidze goes to school in Hampstead (or did, before the pandemic). He is also a member of the choir.

His father Zurab works in Highgate. Kept away by the restrictions of lockdown, they have sent beautiful images, and words of explanation.

“My two favorite places in London are Hampstead and Highgate,” writes Zurab.

“It was lucky that in recent years I happened to be there a lot: In Hampstead my son goes to school and church choir, in Highgate I work. I am longing to be back to normal life, to those beautiful places and the people I would meet there every day.

“Staying at home together with my family though, I find myself in a very supportive and positive atmosphere. This allows me to keep optimistic, and find positive, creative use of free time.

“Here I offer to your attention pieces of drawing that are inspired by the places, so precious to me.”

Sandro too has sent us drawings.

“During this quarantine phase I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. And besides the online school meetings and homework, I try to commit more time to creativity. As ideas rush to my head, I draw them in shapes as doodles.”

Triptych by Jane Hinde

Jane writes:

This lockdown has given me an opportunity to look at unfinished artwork and more time – to reflect, allow ideas to percolate and come to understand the unconscious at work.

This triptych is the fruition of reflection. I completed about 6 images and was not able to order them into any meaning, either aesthetic or emotional.

Two days ago I put them in this order, realising as I did that for me it represents inchoate beings, becoming, and then a visitation and finally on the right, The Holy Trinity.

Where is God in the pandemic?

You are invited to participate in a group project to create a new altar frontal. We hope the whole congregation, of all ages, will take part – even if you think you’re “not artistic”!

The idea is to capture a sense of how the whole church responds to the question “Where is God in the pandemic?”

The Project

The plan is to make an altar frontal for use when we return to worship, showing where we saw or felt God’s presence in the pandemic (and if the answer is an angry “nowhere,” that’s fine too).

Each person will decorate a white cotton square with your idea of “Where is God in the pandemic”.

You can draw or write your ideas with fabric pen, or use a combination of images and words. If you have skills in embroidery, applique, patchwork, etc. – feel free to use them!

Just be sure that whatever materials you use can be washed without disappearing.

What do I need?

We hope each individual will decorate a square.

Just find a six and a half inch white cotton square (old sheets or old sheets might come in handy) and some fabric markers. 

Leave a quarter of an inch unmarked around the edge, for sewing. Here is what we have in mind:

When you’ve made your square, Margaret Pritchard Houston will sew all our squares together into our community altar frontal.

When do we need this?

Margaret needs your decorated squares by 15th JUNE.

Please email Margaret (email below) and she will send you the address to post them to.

If you need help

Fabric markers are available at many online retailers, including Baker Ross: https://www.bakerross.co.uk/fabric-pens. If you are not familiar with online shopping contact Margaret (email below) and she will send you some.

Likewise, if you need a white cotton square, contact Margaret (email below) and she will send that. 

Any questions?

If you have any questions, or if your fabric or markers haven’t arrived, you can email Margaret Pritchard Houston (by clicking on THIS LINK).

We look forward to receiving your contribution. Thank you for reading

The Hampstead Parish Church in Exile team

Doubting Thomas

A bit downbeat, this one: sorry.

Sometimes I feel entirely engaged by the online services and Zooms, and very grateful.

But sometimes I find myself utterly disconnected (no idea why).

Today’s reading (and sermon, which I’ve not watched yet) was about Doubting Thomas.

Ayla, on Facebook Live, projected Caravaggio’s powerful painting onto the wall of her home.

And I stared at the same computer I use to send invoices, read email etc, and sketched how it feels to be so wavering about the value of digital church:

NOTE: When I was baptised last year I took the name Thomas.