Bishop Street Methodist Church

Art at the Chapel Explorations into Art and Spirituality

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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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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.

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Dream Baskets and Other Works


Dream Baskets and Other Works by Andrea Heffernan

26th – 31st January 2017

As a self-taught artist, Andrea was first inspired to start crafting on holiday when she saw someone making jewellery. Unable to find jewellery she really liked in the shops she decided to take up the craft and began making her own pieces both for herself and for friends. This led to trying a whole range of different crafts including glass painting, pyrography, plaster casts, felt flower making and creating night light baskets. Using the internet to learn about each technique Andrea says ‘I like to have a go at new crafts I see. I am inspired by my Granddaughter and my two sons who both love drawing and nature.’

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Jesus the Refugee and Present Day Asylum Seekers


“…no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head…”

Did you know that according to the Bible, Jesus was effectively homeless three times in his life? The first time was when he was born, the second time was shortly after his birth when his family had to flee for his safety, and the third time was when he was an adult travelling from village to village with no fixed abode.

Refugees have been in the news a great deal over the last few years.  Each of us will have seen pictures in the news of mothers, fathers and children forced from their homes and risking their lives to get to safety. Mary, Joseph and Jesus were in a very similar situation to the refugees we see in the news.

The weeks leading up to Christmas, and Christmas itself, can feel like a very cosy and ‘enchanting’ time of year. The story of God coming to earth in Jesus is very beautiful but it is also full of a lot of suffering and danger. After the three wise men visited King Herod on their way to baby Jesus, King Herod had all the boys under two years old in the area killed! Angels appeared to the shepherds announcing the news of the special birth of Jesus, but a few months later an angel appeared to Joseph with less joyful news. The angel told him to flee to another country immediately to avoid the young Jesus being murdered!

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