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Modern culture meets 8th Century legacy at Grantham St Wulfram's Chuch

An exhibition which was planned as part of 2020 celebrations at a Grantham church, but cancelled due to Covid, will go ahead this Easter.

The team behind ‘The Same Boat’ are excited the event can finally take place at St Wulfram’s Church, following disappointment when the coronavirus cancelled their ‘Wulfram2020’ plans last year.

‘Wulfram2020’, a series of events, was to be a celebration to mark 1,300 years since the death of St Wulfram – Patron Saint of the Dangers of the Sea – and approximately 900 years since the building of the church commenced.

Inside St Wulfram's Chuch.
Inside St Wulfram's Chuch.

‘The Same Boat’ was to be one of the first events, and will now run from the end of March until the end of April.

Funded by Arts Council England and South Kesteven District Council, it features artwork created by local community groups and schools who worked with local professional artists, alongside a special live art performance by an international Islamic street artist and an award-winning jazz musician.

There will be four initial art installations, created by participants from Barrowby Primary School, West Grantham Primary Academy and Grantham College’s Day Break adult social care group and visual arts department.

The Same Boat. (45193968)
The Same Boat. (45193968)

They have all worked with local artists Anne-Marie Kerr, Claire Carrington and Emma Chippendale, and their work focused on one of the project words that were chosen by Father Stuart Cradduck, the church rector. The words – betrayal, suffering, vulnerability and hope and courage – are all inspired by the Stations of the Cross, a series of images often used by Christian churches that depict Jesus during his journey to the crucifixion.

A fifth and final installation will be created live by internationally renowned Islamic street artist Mohammed Ali with music provided by award-winning composer and musician Cleveland Watkiss, alongside selected members of the St Wulfram’s Teenage Choir.

This event cannot be open to the public due to Covid19 restrictions, but will be filmed and streamed as a short live presentation on Saturday, March 27. The film will then be available to view and share on social media and also via the St Wulfram’s website.

During Holy Week and Easter itself, the exhibition will be on display in the church for those attending services or for private prayer and then from Monday, April 12 (if Covid guidelines allow) until the end of April, people will be able to see it when the church will be open for longer hours.

Father Stuart said: “St Wulfram’s is so proud to be hosting this amazing exhibition and so thrilled that it has involved many people from across Grantham. We are also very excited to be welcoming the internationally renowned artist Mohammed Ali to the church to add an even wider interpretation to the project themes of betrayal, suffering, vulnerability, hope and courage.

“The story of St Wulfram is not well-known but is an extraordinary one and Wulfram, like Jesus himself, would most certainly have experienced these five powerful human emotions.

“In many ways these emotions have been part of our own lives too over this past very difficult year and we hope that by experiencing our exhibition and short film, people will learn something about each other and how our own experiences connect with others.

“I am truly delighted that we are finally able to commemorate the anniversary of St Wulfram in this unique and moving exhibition that will help us all look forward to the future.”

The project is being produced by Creative Producers Simon Hollingworth and Emilie Nunn.

Simon said: “Mohammed first came to Grantham two years ago as part of the Bridge project launch and he loved working inside St Wulfram’s Church.

“Although it was a great shame that the project couldn’t take place last year, we are thrilled that we are now able to go ahead - and because we are now creating a mini film rather than staging an event, we hope very much that even more people will be able to see the exhibition and experience the project.

“Mohammed and Cleveland are big names in their fields and we are absolutely delighted that they will be coming to Grantham to complete the project in this way.”

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