Pat Kane introduces us to three more images from the Methodist Modern Art Collection coming to the Focolare Centre for Unity in March 2024.

[New City Magazine – February 2024, page 20-21]

It was Pope Gregory the Great who in about 600 AD declared that images and sculptures of Christian subjects could be used in churches. He said that ‘images can do for the illiterate what words can do for those who can read.’
Perhaps there is another kind of ‘literacy’, other than the word, which is visual literacy. Images have the capacity to bypass the intellect and speak directly to the heart and soul. Richly decorated medieval and Renaissance churches are testimony to this. We can often find fresco cycles of the life of Christ and the life of Mary, the Creation, the Fall, and Redemption, as well as stories of well known saints such as Francis of Assisi.
The Eastern Orthodox Church has continued and developed this tradition through its use of icons. A religious icon is very much more than a picture of someone. It is a sacred object, an aid to prayer, a channel between God and the viewer.

The forthcoming exhibition, ‘Deepening the Mystery’ at the Centre for Unity in Welwyn Garden City, will give us the opportunity to meditate on the life of Jesus portrayed in contemporary art.

Date of exhibition:
1st March – 7th April 2024

Focolare Centre for Unity, 69 Parkway, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6JG

Included images:

Nativity Polyptych 
Francis Hoyland
(1961) Oil

Fool of God 
Mark Cazalet
(1993) Oil on paper

Washing of the Feet
Ghislaine Howard
(2004) Acrylic on canvas

All images from the Methodist Modern Art Collection

©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes

The exhibition is free admission. However, if you would like to help with costs, please support our crowdfunding appeal:


The Methodist Modern Art Collection is

‘… one of the art world’s unexpected treasures, including some of the most powerful and arresting religious art of the 20th and 21st centuries.’

For more information, see Facebook:

Art 2024 at WGC

or contact:

The Collection includes exhibits by key figures of 20th and 21st century British art (such as Graham Sutherland, Elisabeth Frink), as well as works by international artists. The exhibition will include a programme of workshops and lectures for all ages.

Space for contemplation

June 2nd, 2024|0 Comments

Paul Gateshill reflects on the Methodist Modern Art Collection which was hosted at the Focolare Centre for Unity during Lent and Easter this year.


March 1st, 2024|0 Comments

Over the last three months, Pat Kane has explored some of the works of art from the Methodist Modern Art Collection which is being exhibited this month at the Focolare Centre for Unity.

The Empty Tomb by Richard Bavin

January 2nd, 2024|0 Comments

Over the next three months Pat Kane explores some of the exhibits coming to the Focolare Centre for Unity in March 2024. These form part of the impressive Methodist Modern Art Collection.

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