In the year 2000 I wrote a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury asking if I could get married in a parish church, in a parish I was not resident in. In the letter I cited Paul’s writing in Timothy, a church is a body of people, not a building but a congregation meeting together. The Church of England’s laws governing marriage changed a short time later, allowing marriage in lots of different places, not just in the parish church of ordinary residence.
In January 2020 I was fortunate to visit my sister in New Zealand – Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud, unaware of the significance of the timing when we left the UK, we had the most spectacular adventure. Whilst travelling down the North Island’s East coast we stopped on an almost deserted beach of nearly white sand, Rawara Beach, it was an awesome place. There were a group of 10 Maori Guys – the image captured my imagination – a true CHURCH of people in one of the most spectacular places on planet Earth, a natural cathedral. The awe and wonder of the place and group of people within it, was a spiritual experience. The image had to become a painting, its significance grew as lockdown happened, the pandemic took control globally, social distancing making all physical churches of people an impossibility. The painting has generated a lot of interesting conversations. I love to capture skies in paint – it’s a universal visual language experienced by all people, a great source of awe and wonder in my life.
Large oil on canvas in a lime waxed frame – 80×100 cm.
Ref: NZ 2020