Gigantic mural will be a highlight of popular event

MURAL Paul Chong with the artist Heather Gray-Newton. Picture: Malcolm Wells (13956-7670)
MURAL Paul Chong with the artist Heather Gray-Newton. Picture: Malcolm Wells (13956-7670)
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Members of St. Thomas Catholic Church, in New Brighton Road, Emsworth, have made the 10-metre artwork to represent how being part of the church affects their everyday lives.

The painting is inspired by important biblical stories, historical religious figures, and relevant calendar events.

The mural will be at just one of 41 homes and communal buildings in Emsworth that will be holding exhibitions over two weekends.

The congregation enlisted the help of local artist Heather Gray-Newton to facilitate the painting.

Ms Gray-Newton, from Hayling Island, got involved through her watercolour pupil, Stuart Thompson, who attends the Catholic church.

She said the mural had turned out ‘brilliantly’ and added: ‘I’m really pleased with it and I’ve loved seeing everyone get involved and be so engaged in the project.’

The artwork, which was made using acrylic paint and clingfilm to achieve a textured look, will be on show at the church during the arts trail.

Parishioner Maureen Thompson, from Beacon Square, Emsworth, explained the reasoning behind the painting’s title of Our Faith Story.

She said: ‘It represents all the events in the church and what faith is to us.’

Those co-ordinating the community artwork met several times during Lent to gather together artistic talent of all levels.

Every day for two weeks, 10 volunteers took time out of their day to help create the imaginative timeline of faith, which will be put up inside the church permanently after the arts trail. This year the Emsworth Arts Trail will feature an ‘adopt an artist’ scheme where 29 local businesses have teamed up with an artist to display their artwork.

Carol Price, from Park Crescent, thought up the initiative and has been paired with The Bluebell Inn.

Emsworth Arts Trail is open to the public next weekend and the following weekend.

Visit emsworthartstrail.org.uk.