18 January 2012
Parishes throughout England can apply for a £10,000 prize for
the best developed proposal for commissioning a new work of art for
their church. The Church Buildings Council prize, generously
funded by The
Jerusalem Trust, will be offered to an excellently prepared
proposal and not for a particular artwork. The essential criterion
is the requirement to use the process outlined in the Council's
recently published guidance on "Commissioning
New Art for Churches".
The deadline for the first stage of the competition is
29 February 2012. At this stage the parish
must explain: Why? What? What is it for?
Where? Will it be temporary or permanent?
Parishes submitting the most promising rationale for a
commission will be invited to work up their proposal in detail
while continuing to use the new guidelines. The deadline for
the final stage will be 1 October 2012.
The art to be commissioned can be a textile, metalwork,
sculpture, an installation using mixed media, a painting or
glass. Using the guidance, richly illustrated with examples
of recent commissions in these media throughout England, parishes
will discover step-by-step advice on how to write briefs, how to
commission and choose artists, the special considerations applying
to temporary artworks, and how to take a creative proposal through
the faculty system. The Church of England hopes that the
guide will make parishes realise that commissioning artwork can be
very straightforward and rewarding.
Anne Sloman, Chair of the Church Buildings Council, said, "The
Church has always been a significant Patron of the Arts in this
country and we are determined that this tradition continues into
the 21st Century. We are very grateful to the Jerusalem Trust for
the Prize which will encourage parishes to use the guidelines
creatively to work with artists to achieve a distinctive
Mark Cazalet, artist and chief editor of the guidelines,
New Art for Parishes" is an exciting initiative from the Church
Buildings Council that sets out clear, concise guidelines for
getting the most out of the commissioning process, and ensuring the
best results. The advice it contains was gathered from key figures
at all levels and backgrounds in the field, representing the
experience of: artists, commissioners, funders, Diocesan Advisory
Committees, diocesan chancellors, clergy and parishes."
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, noted:
"The tradition of commissioning art for the church is as important
today as it ever was; not just for telling the story of Christian
faith, and not just for adorning Christian worship and buildings,
but for celebrating the endlessly inventive splendour of God. For
it is in the image of this creative God that we are made, and it is
when we turn our minds - and hands! - to beauty, as well as truth
and goodness, that we most reflect this gracious God."
The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres, Bishop of London and
Chairman of the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division, also
commented: "The unfolding drama whose author is God seeks artistic
expression in every generation. The Church needs to engage with
contemporary artists in order to explore afresh the forms which
divine truth should be taking in the here and now."
Expressions of Interest should be submitted to: Diana Coulter,
Cathedral & Church Buildings Division, Church House, Great
Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ. The form, notes and Guidelines can
be downloaded from the Churchcare website.
A panel will consider the submissions, and parishes who submit
the most promising rationale for a commission will be invited to
work up their proposal in detail while continuing to use the new
guidelines. The Final Submissions will be reviewed by a
judging panel, which will look for evidence to see whether full
consultation with the relevant Diocesan Advisory Committee and
other stakeholders has happened effectively and in detail.
The judges, the Bishop of Chelmsford, Mark Cazalet, Bridget Cass
of the Jerusalem Trust and the Dean of Durham Cathedral, under the
chairmanship of Anne Sloman, will aim to visit the shortlisted
parishes to meet the commissioning group and view the proposed site
for the new artwork. The overall winner will be notified
in November 2012.
Mark Cazalet is a contemporary British artist
based in London who is noted for a number of distinguished
ecclesiastical commissions in various cathedrals including
Chelmsford, Manchester and Worcester, as well as in various parish
churches in London and the south east. For several years he
has been a specialist member of the Church Buildings Council.
The Council's guidelines illustrate collages Mark worked on with
the community of St Andrew Fulham Fields in London as part of a
recent temporary Lenten exhibition.
The Church Buildings Council of the Church of
England is a statutory body, which advises Chancellors and Diocesan
Advisory Committees (DACs) under the operation of the faculty
system. The Council has a general duty "to promote the care
and conservation of churches and greater knowledge, understanding
and enjoyment of and artistic activity relating to churches both
within the Church of England and more widely among the general
public". A great deal of its work, both in terms of casework and
wider policy initiatives, relates to the preservation of our
remarkable heritage of 12,500 listed buildings. But they are also
determined that the legacy that we leave to future generations is
as worthy as that we have inherited.
Jerusalem Trust was established in 1982 by Sir
Timothy and Lady Sainsbury to "promote the Christian religion". It
funds a range of projects, including those in the media, overseas
(in Africa and Central and Eastern Europe), in education, in
evangelism and mission and in the arts. Its recent funding in the
Art category has included grants towards the Hew Locke work in St
Mary & St Eanswythe Church for the Folkestone Triennial 2011,
the Cross by Stephen Cox for St Anselm's Chapel in Canterbury
Cathedral, a mural by Alison Watt in Old St Paul's Church in
Edinburgh and the font by William Pye in Salisbury Cathedral, as
well as support for organisations promoting Christian art.