CANON JOHN DRAPER: God-given talent is encouraged and celebrated

The vicar of St Mary the Virgin, Rowner, on the Church's support of the arts.

Churches host many music concerts of different styles
Churches host many music concerts of different styles

There was a time when the two main patrons of the arts were the Church or the aristocracy/royalty.

Today, the Church is still very active in encouraging people to use their gifts for the wider enjoyment of their neighbour. I believe that God gives us gifts of creativity, such as painting, music, singing and others.

Each of our communities has a parish church, whose grandeur can vary from a simple Norman building, to a vast high-Baroque cathedral.

The traditional link between the rich landowner and the Church is often reflected by both the Church and, perhaps, a manor house or sponsored town or guildhall.

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    The latter are the base for local government and would often reflect the local industry or specialist craft of the area. The former would often reflect the tastes of the time the church was built or restored.

    You won’t have to go far to find – in church – an exhibition of paintings or sculpture or a concert of music, perhaps singing or orchestra.

    Some of the greatest works of art can be seen in our churches: take, for example, St Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey.

    But why go so far? Why not find out what your local parish church or cathedral are offering the general public in terms of the arts.

    Some of the greatest choral and orchestral works were written by the great Christian composers of the Baroque era, such as JS Bach or GF Handel. They were both church organists of great distinction, one in Germany and the other in this country.

    The Church wants to celebrate with their community what is beautiful to the eye and to the ear.

    Look out for what is happening in your local church and simply enjoy what there is on offer. God-given talent is encouraged and celebrated.

    One thing we have coming up soon is a concert by HMS Collingwood Volunteer Band in our church on Friday, July 27.

    Tickets are £8 or £6, which you can get either on the door or from our parish office by calling (023) 9258 1834.

    Or you could even have a go yourself. If you are looking for somewhere to exhibit or perform, why not contact your local church or cathedral?

    St Mary the Virgin Church is in Rowner Lane, Gosport. Go to