Bishop Street Methodist Church

Art at the Chapel Explorations into Art and Spirituality

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Venite Exhibition


An exhibition of Art and Photography created from recycled organ pipes and circuit boards.

17th October to 7th November 2018


Earlier this year I was looking in the Bishop Street Church basement for something to use to create the large new artwork now up in our cafe with when I saw a big pile of old organ pipes and circuit boards. They had been destined for the tip when they were taken out during the recent organ renovations but luckily Robin managed to save them and store them along with various other treasures. They were so beautiful and deserved to be seen and loved so I suggested we created an exhibition from them and Robin agreed. So the idea for our current Venite exhibition was born and I set about advertising for artists to transform an organ pipe into an original piece of artwork. I also decided to take some photographs myself of the circuit boards as they were just so beautiful!

A couple of weeks ago everyone brought back their completed organ pipes and my goodness they had all done an amazing job! I love the wide range of materials that have been used from wool, paper, paint, 3-D elements and many more. I highly recommend a visit to this exhibition to see them as they are well worth a closer look!

To see a photo and read more about the original Venite cafe artwork that started the ball rolling please click here.


A big thank you to all the artists who took part in this exhibition who include:

Donna Drouin

Paul Davis

Celeste Drouin-Davis and festival goers at Kingstock

Jackie and Jon Palmer

Glenda Gibson
Sue Hooper
Wendy Harvey
Jane Millum
Jo Leatherland
Helen Ashley
‘In Stitches’ Knitting Group
Ruth Joy


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Venite Cafe Artwork



It had been a long time since I have created any artwork of this size so I prayed as I worked that God would lead and inspire me during each stage of making this piece. I wanted prayer to be woven into its fabric and asked God to bless each person who looked at it once it was installed in the cafe.

It was important to me that all the materials used in this work were sourced from Bishop Street Methodist Church. Inspired by the Triptych format often used in religious devotional paintings and altar pieces it comprises of three hessian covered wooden panels which were once church notice boards. Attached to each panel is a circuit board taken out of the Bishop Street organ during its restoration in 2016-17. The detail and complexity of these circuit boards is fascinating with handwritten tags and labels attached to each wire to note the organ stop it was connected to. The hymn numbers and word cards were once used here in the Bishop Street  Hymn Board and the fabric was found in the choir vestry. By recycling these unused objects to create this piece I was able to give them a new life whilst connecting and grounding the artwork in the history of this church.



The title, ‘VENITE’ means ‘Come Ye’ and is the opening words of the 95th psalm that the ‘Venite’ canticle once part of morning prayer here was based on. “O COME, let us sing unto the LORD; * let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; * and show ourselves glad in him with psalms…….”.

Other words that feature in the work include Te Deum, an early Christian hymn of praise, and ‘Magnificat’ a canticle, also known as the Song of Mary as it is the song that Mary prayed while visiting Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist while they were both pregnant.


The piece also includes various numbers relating to hymns and a Psalm. These include …

Psalm 103  which begins … Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits— who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

and hymns including 3 classics:

214 Once in royal David’s city, stood a lowly cattle shed, where a mother laid her baby in a manger for his bed.

236 Forty days and 40 nights, you were fasting in the wild. Forty days and forty nights, tempted and yet undefiled.

486 Who would true valour see, let him come hither.  (John Bunyan)

And a beautiful new hymn:

307 On the day of resurrection, to Emmaus we return; while confused, amazed, and frightened, Jesus comes to us, unknown. (Michael Peterson)


Artwork and text by Ruth Joy




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Venite Art Exhibition


Transform an organ pipe or circuit board into a piece of art work for our ‘Venite’ exhibition to be held October 2018 Find out below how you could get involved in this unique creative opportunity.

Join us at one of our transformation workshops OR collect a pipe or two or a circuit board to work on at home.



Collaborative Artwork Workshops

Wednesday 4th & 11th July 2018 10am -12pm
Drop in sessions, no charge, all ages and abilities welcome. We will be working together to transform a large organ pipe as a collective artwork piece for the exhibition.


Create your own Artwork


We give you a fabulous organ pipe or circuit board as the starting point for your creation
You get to exhibit it for free in our exhibition
You get to keep it afterwards free of charge or you can sell it during the exhibition* or donate it to the church to show in future exhibitions.


Get in touch and let us know your ideas for transforming the object (These could be as rough as what materials you are thinking of using) Email Ruth at, or phone the church on 0116 2554111 and speak to Robin on Tuesday to Friday or Ruth on Wednesdays.


Arrange a day/time and come and collect your object(s) There is a £10 deposit needed for each object which will be refunded when you bring the completed piece in for the exhibition. We have 5 circuit boards and 20 Organ pipes ranging from 61cm to 183cm


Completed artworks must be returned by the end of September so the quicker you collect your object the longer you have.


Our ‘Venite’ exhibition will be held from 17th October – 7th November 2018


The theme of your artwork is up to you. We just ask that it is suitable for exhibiting in a family friendly church space. If you would like to you could use the exhibition title ‘Venite’ as a starting point but it is not compulsory.

The exhibition is entitled ‘Venite’ the Latin verb ‘Come!’. The Venite is also a liturgical chant composed of parts of Psalms 95 and 96 which was included in some services here and was printed on one of a selection of old Hymn board cards found at the church which will be incorporated into the exhibition. The title was chosen for its welcoming and inclusive nature.

* Bishop Street Gallery take 30% commission on sales made through the exhibition



If you know someone who may be interested in this opportunity please let them know. If you would like a poster to print and display in your church or another public space please email Ruth at

To see examples of past exhibitions in our gallery space click here


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Creative Faith Postcards

Creative Faith Postcards

A creative faith resource for prayer, worship or initiating conversations about God.

Packs cost £20 each and are available to buy from Art at the Chapel. Please contact us at if you would like to purchase a set. 

About the Postcards

The Images
These images were taken as part of a photographic reflection on faith entitled ‘Bind us, Refresh us, Renew us’. The process of taking the photographs became a prayer as the artist used her camera as a means to express the thoughts, feelings and emotions involved in the intangible and yet intimate nature of our relationship with God. We encourage you to spend time with these images and the questions on the back of the cards so they may become a visual meditation and aid for personal reflection. If used in a group situation they can act as starting points for shared conversation on faith and God.


The Artist
Ruth Joy is a professional photographer and part time art and spirituality worker for Bishop Street Methodist Church in Leicester. She is interested in how images connect us with memories, emotions and belief which can be hard to express with words alone and how people often look at the same image in completely different ways so by unlocking multiple layers of meaning contained within it.




Examples of the kind of images you will find in the pack  

Ways to use the Postcards

For Personal Reflection
Reflect on one card each day as part of a quiet time using the questions on the back of each card to focus your thoughts. The cards also work well as an activity in a prayer corner or as a prayer station. If used in this way it helps to present some cards text side up and some image side up spread out on a table around the remaining cards propped up in the box.


For Reaching Out The cards can be used to encourage conversation about life and faith in your local community. Invite people to choose one and describe how it ‘speaks’ to them about life; then see where the conversation leads. Display some at a coffee morning, on a stall at an event or in a community building. Peg them to a piece of string, lay them out on a table, display them on a wall or put them in a photo album.

For Shared Reflection
The cards work in many situations including creative services, quiet days and cell groups. Spread out all the postcards image side up on the floor or a table and ask people to choose one which resonates with them or which reflects an aspect of their relationship with God. Allow a few minutes of silence and ask people to read the questions on the back of the card. Gently encourage a time where each person’s thoughts on their chosen image can be shared. This can be very enriching for the group. It can however be helpful to explain at the start that sharing thoughts is optional and to find a way to make it easy for someone to indicate they don’t wish to speak.


This pack includes…

10 blue cards to aid reflection on our experience of God in everyday life.

10 brown cards to focus thought on what God means to us.



Packs cost £20 each and are available to buy from Art at the Chapel. Please contact us at if you would like to purchase a set. 


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Wonder Exhibition 2017 in photos

Our Open Art Exhibition on the theme of ‘Wonder’ will be on show for the whole of May 2017.

The show contains a mixture of media including painting, drawing, textiles, photography and poetry.


Exhibition and Cafe Opening Times 

Monday to Friday – 10am-4pm

Saturdays – 11am to 3pm


Please click on ‘Continue Reading’ below to see more photographs of the exhibition.

Continue reading