Senior Parish Art Club (S.P.A Club)


Professional art tuition for Senior Parish members. Meet every  Wednesday of the month in the Upper Room of the Windhill Churches Centre.

Learn how to draw, paint and print using all mediums. Exclusive classes for all levels- beginners will love it!

Started on Wednesday 18th October 2017 at 10.30am  Entrance donation £5, all materials provided.

Our first group of Artists produced some amazing art work …..

The Artist, image of God the Creator

‘None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when – like the artists of every age- captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you.

That is why artists, the  more conscious they are of their ‘ gift’, are led all the more to see themselves and the whole of creation with eyes able to contemplate and give thanks, and to raise to God a hymn of praise. This is the only way for them to come to a full understanding of themselves, their vocation and their mission’.

Pope John Paul II, Letter to Artists, 1999



Week 2 – Some more fabulous creations !!



Week 3 and more Amazing pieces !!






Thoughts from Monica Jacobs….

“A favourite film of mine is about an elderly man who travels several American counties on a lawn mower to visit his dying brother who he fell out with years prior . It is a tale of ‘ let it begin with me’ , and forgiveness ‘ .

The film is called ‘The Straight Story’ a true story about Alvin Straight .
A memorable scene among many is when Alvin stops for respite to be greeted road side by a tour of young cyclists .
In between eating burgers and playing ball , one lad unaware of his tactless remark , much to the cringing reactions of his sensitive friend , says ..In a loud southern drawl …’ hey Alvin ! What’s the worst thing about getting old ? ‘
To which Alvin flatly replies with irritation and seniority…..
‘ remembering be young !

Our chat today in the art club was about perceptions of age , to conclude , like Mr Straight ,
No one in the art room is OUT OF DATE.

God is ageless . And so are his creations .
The most attractive truth for catholics should be that we are promised eternal life ! New life , not end of the road life . This is a deal breaker of a truth for me Christ died for me to keep me young and alive forever in Paradise .
If BOOTS the chemist made a cream with that endorsement everyone would be buying that truth .

Beauty and vision is ageless .
Gods dynamism waiting in us can never be old or useless or un- fit for purpose . Unless we let it . Despite the condition of our outwards self .

‘HE looked at the world ‘ , he had created and ‘saw it was GOOD’. …..

Benedictine monks don’t care much about how a person is feeling ( not because they are insensitive) but do care much more about what a person is doing’ !
SPA members get their act together and commit .
They let go of ‘self’ doubts and fears and to let ‘GOD’ . ……..

‘Learn the Art of serenity through the act of trusting .
The senior members of the parish have led me through this advent to the crib scene at st Joseph’s and I am grateful for their ageless and youthful Company .
God bless the SPA members each and every one.
God is with us all this day and every day x
…… and Tiny Tim lol x ”





Our talented SPA Club Artists provided the beautiful back drop to our Nativity this year at St Josephs…

The Wise Men followed the star, and thus came to Jesus, to the great Light which enlightens everyone coming into this world (Jn 1:9). As pilgrims of faith, the Wise Men themselves became stars shining in the firmament of history and they show us the way. The saints are God’s true constellations, which light up the nights of this world, serving as our guides. Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Philippians, told his faithful that they must shine like stars in the world (cf. 2:15).pope Benedict xv1
At the same time, the Epiphany shows to us God who in turn is on pilgrimage, a pilgrimage to man. There is not only the pilgrimage of man towards God; God himself has set out towards us: who is Jesus, in fact, if not God who has, so to speak, come out of himself to meet humanity? It was out of love that he made himself history in our history; out of love that he came to bring us the seed of new life (cf. Jn 3: 3-6) and sow it in the furrows of our earth so that it might sprout, flower and bear fruit.

“To be an artist is to believe in life.” Henry Moore

“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” Michelangelo

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Aristotle .

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” Oscar Wilde

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free” Michelangelo

Painting is the grandchild of nature. It is related to God.” Rembrandt




Pope Francis wrote…

“Architects and painters, sculptors and musicians, filmmakers and writers, photographers and poets, artists of every discipline, are called to shine beauty especially where darkness or gray dominates everyday life,” 

They “are the custodians of beauty, heralds and witnesses of hope for humanity.”

“I invite you, therefore,” he emphasized, “to cherish beauty, and beauty will heal the many wounds that mark the hearts and souls of the men and women of our day.”

The end of the Summer Term ..  yet more fabulous creations !



100th Anniversary of Armistice Day

To mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on 11 November 2018, Bishop’s Stortford Town Council is planning to add some elements to the Remembrance Day celebrations this year to make the event extra special.

The Senior Parish Art Group has been invited to participate in designing and creating  poppy related artwork  to be displayed around the town, including the barrier baskets enroute to the Bishop’s Stortford War Memorial. This has been a great honour and all credit to Monica and the team who have done an amazing job !!



The Senior Parish Art Group at St Joseph and the English Martyrs remembers in their hearts and prayers the families of those who served in WW1.


‘We have produced these paintings from a place of great love and sadness for those courageous men and women who served ‘ God, Queen and Country’.

We remember also the Children evacuated and Mothers who bravely entrusted them to strangers.

Everyone during this time, served through their actions of unity and we thank them for their bravery.

Our people served under the most trying of circumstances’


‘We hope that our display informs the viewer and reflects our feelings of heartfelt gratitude’


Contributing artists:

Vanessa Calladine

Edward Irons

Elizabeth Rosair

Joan Stalley

Anne McLean

Robert McLean

Mary Pontin

Monica Lynch

David Croft

Karen Benskin


Sincere thanks to Fr Peter for supporting the SPA Club and Jacqueline Gething ( Tourist Information Centre)





Bread of life – grain grows to a field of wheat
Sombre for lives lost
Peace of life lost.
Bread of life, of hope and peace;
Peace of life,
Bread of life.
Sweeties for the children,
Smiles of the villagers; kindness meted out.
Bread of life.

Afghanistan 2009



Fabulous work including that created by the SPA group also displayed in the window of the Bishop’s Stortford Tourist Information Office this week…..






Beautiful Advent display on the English Martyrs Altar at St Joseph’s 2018

 Thank you very much to Monica for all of her hard work, time and dedication putting such a creative display together and to the members of the Art group for generously donating some of their wonderful pictures. Simply stunning!



A Fabulous start to 2019 !!   More beautiful  SPA Group Art work on display at the Bishop’s Stortford Tourist Information Office …

A few words from Monica….

‘The start of lent and another collaborative project between the tourist board and the SPA club . The monthly theme of Trails and walks ties in with the start of lent . A chance to reflect on nature and what god has created for us .The work on display is energised and gentle at the same time . Like nature quietly storing up its necessary food under the cold rough ground before revealing its spring time flowers and colour .I feel the work on display identifies with the inner quietness and focus of the artists ‘ who painted them ….. Waiting , looking and being mindful of the beauty all around