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A secret teasure trove of art in Havering

PUBLISHED: 18:00 22 February 2011

The East Window (1996) depicts the Transfiguration. There

is a an icon by the iconographer John Coleman (2006), in the nave.

, Fr John-Francis Friendship in front of the window

The East Window (1996) depicts the Transfiguration. There is a an icon by the iconographer John Coleman (2006), in the nave. , Fr John-Francis Friendship in front of the window

Archant

FORGET the Guggenheim in New York, the Louvre in Paris and the Uffizi in Florence.

Revd Tim Coleman (Chaplain), Henry Shelton, Rt. Revd. David Hawkins (Bishop of Barking) with Crucifixion by Henry Shelton in the St Luke's Chapel at Queen's Hospital Romford;

Havering has its very own spectacular art collection and it has remained a secret to the general masses - until now

Behind unassuming church doors in the borough lies a treasure-trove of stained-glass windows, paintings and sculptures, which have been put on the map in a new trail.

It has been created by Commission4Mission – which promotes the purchase of artworks by churches through donations given in memory of loved ones.

The trail was launched in Goodmayes last Thursday by the Bishop of Barking, Rt Revd David Hawkins, and offers a guide to the art wonders in the Barking Episcopal area of the Diocese of Chelmsford – eight of which are in Havering.

The aim is to raise awareness of the rich and diverse range of modern and contemporary arts and crafts from the last 100 years.

Rt Revd Hawkins said at the launch: “For centuries the arts have been an important medium through which public communication of the faith has taken place and the church has had a lengthy and happy marriage with the arts.”

Impressively, the trail includes work by significant twentieth century artists such as Eric Gill, Hans Feibusch, John Hutton and John Piper alongside contemporary pieces by the likes of Mark Cazalet, Jane Quail and Henry Shelton.

Fine Arts lecturer, artist and Commission4mission member, Mark Lewis, researched and developed a leaflet documenting the trail.

He told the Recorder: “We discovered amazing diversity out there and some incredible surprises; it was quite obvious there were some stunningly beautiful pieces that deserved to be better known.”

He chose the stained-glass baptistery windows in Edward the Confessor Church, in Romford Market Place, as the stand-out piece in the borough.

“It has striking geometry and gets its message across powerfully and quickly as good art should,” he said. “Good sacred art is also like poetry and has many layers of meaning.”

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