the art of love made known

we live in a visual society and worship an extravagantly creative God; no wonder we're finding art a powerful aid to communicate God's heart to people

Here are some of our favourite ideas and creations... some explore the art of devotion; some the art of mission - but all of them seek to make God's love known. We hope sharing these ideas will spark more in you.

Loving the UK's leaders
Visit our blog to find out more about the motivation behind, and vision for, sending a very special Valentine's gift mailing to each and every individual MP in February 2019. Communicating a vital message of love, affirmation and encouragement to them at a very significant time for the UK.

Learning to communicate the gospel in beautifully transparent ways
Download and enjoy this special souvenir gift resource looking back over all God taught us through having a permanent shop front window at our first base at 6 Church Street, Ilkley. This is a celebration of where we started learning the art of making love know.

Sharing the little clay bird's story
Our author, one of our artists and another creatively minded pray-er teamed up to bring to life the beautifully poignant story of The Little Clay Bird in our last story window at 6 Church Street, Ilkley. See more photos and enjoy the story yourself! Special thanks to Create Cafe for all their help too.

Anchor-strong hope
This powerful, but simple image from Hebrews 6:19 speaks rock-solid truth to all those feeling at sea - whether because of personal change, or in the context of so much uncertainty for our nation in the lead up to the 2017 snap election and ongoing conversations about Brexit. Find out more

Sharing his-story book with everyone around us
For Easter 2017 we wanted to tell the author's own story - and why Easter matters so much. We turned our window into the open pages of a giant his-story book. Then, an author, an artist, theological and scientific editors and a practical whizz, created this fresh telling of the core gospel story.

Inviting everyone to have tea with Mervis Kejinga...
We wanted to share God's love for - and help people connect with - the people behind our products.with everyone around us. And so around Fairtrade Fortnight 2017 we created perhaps the world's first-ever piece of tea-bag art! See the photos and read all about how and why on our blog.

A message for everyone on a culturally selective day...
We love Valentine's Day and the excuse it gives us to beam out the truth that everyone is loved by God, and to bless those around us with gifts demonstrating this. Find out what we got up to in February 2017 to share the love through our art installation and gifts for every workplace in town.

Hope whatever comes
January 2017 was full of turbulent headlines and a resulting sense of heaviness. But our blank canvas and modern wording of a resonant scripture helped share the New Year message that there is hope whatever comes because God's loving kindnesses are new every morning.

Another name to know him by
Our Christmas 2016 window connected seeing Aslan in Narnia and knowing him by another name in our world. Visit our blog to see bigger photos and be inspired to find creative ways to make the gospel more transparent to those around you.

The Wooden Girl's Dancing Dream
This story window, created in October 2015, tied in with the timing of Ilkley's Literature festival. It brought The Wooden Girl's Dancing Dream to life visually and invited people to take away a copy of the story to read at home. You can download the story to read and see lots more pictures here.

A wall in our window
Following an inspiring time of prayer about being peace-builders, we wanted to share some of how the symbolism of dry-stone walls had made a impact on us. You can see a bigger picture and read our peace-builder's prayer which featured in the window, on our blog.

Brew up... and Bless!
See more pictures from our 2016 Yorkshire Day Outreach which included a bespoke window, a social media campaign and giving out 500 handmade gifts (including a postcard with our brewing prayer on, a fridge magnet and two customised tea-bags) featuring Alison Helliwell-Hodson's stunning art.

Shining a beacon of blessing
Following a week of prayer for the UK in May, we felt led to share the ancient words of the Aaronic blessing in our window. The result was a modern blessing, inspired by the ancient scripture and a simple diagram
to illustrate it. See the full wording and better photos on our blog

Living Water
Our 2016 Spring window brought together the stunning new creativity of Ilkley based artist Alison Helliwell-Hodson and the still-fresh ancient prayer-poetry of Psalm 143:1,5 and 6 and Isaiah 44:3. See a larger photo and read the featured words in full on our blog

Beauty for ashes
Our 2016 Easter window was inspired by Isaiah 61 and brings to life some of the words from Brenton Brown and Chris McClarney's beautiful song, 'Beauty for ashes'. See a larger photo and listen to the song on our blog

The Wonder Weavers
Our third story window spun to life Liz Baddaley's allegory, 'The Wonder Weavers' by linking Elaine Crabtree's spinning wheel and hand spun three stranded wool into a woven blanket stitched with a quote from the story.
(More pictures are available here on our blog) Passers by could take the story direct from the window, but you can read it here too

You are LOVED!
Our 2016 Valentine's outreach was designed to spell out a vital message of God to passers by through our window, and to organisations and individuals through our cards and gifts. Visit the links to see more pictures and to read the full text we shared with everyone... and read how it went here

Can you hear the call?
Our 2016 New Year window visualises the poem it also contains - Can you hear the call? - which brings to life the truth of what happens when a domestic goose hears a wild goose call... visit our blog to see better pictures of Barbara Macnish's stunning skein of geese and to read the poem.

Aslan is on the move
Our Advent and Christmas window and door" (special thanks to Alison Hodson!) for 2015 brought to life Narnia's allegory as a fresh way to share  the incarnation's transformation. Visit our blog to see more pictures and read this Christmas message with a difference that had lots of intrigued people reading it on the pavement - and taking selfies by the door...

Growing the GLOW
In Autumn 2015 and 2016, we grew the concept Made To GLOW which we created in 2014 and developed two parts to our window. You can see more pics and read more information on our blog about 2015: part 1 (which included one of our creative give aways) and part 2 (which featured an inspiring gallery of stars who have shone before us) and 2016: here

Beauty's meaning
In October 2015, we created this window celebrating one of our very favourite authors - C.S.Lewis - to tie in with Ilkley's Literature Festival, which sees thousands of extra visitors visit the town. It seeks to bring to life a quote from The Weight of Glory about how beauty points to a deeper meaning. Read more about it in this blog article: beauty's meaning.

Re-create, Expand, Space, Trust
In August 2015, we were thrilled to use our window to share Jesus' words and vision for living from a place of rest in him (Matthew 11:28-30) together with Barbara Macnish's beautifully crafted letters and acrostic. It's been wonderful watching so many people read these life-giving words. 

God bless Yorkshire!
To celebrate Yorkshire Day (1 Aug) in 2015 we moved our 'mural' (painted by Alison Hodson) into the window to share it with everyone - and invited passers by to make their mark on the glass! We also used it to create gift bags of art postcards and badges carrying a message about celebrating God's creation. Visit our blog to see pictures of the preparations and the day itself.

The Secret Beauty of Sand
Our second story window was launched on 1 July 2015. Barbara Macnish helped bring Liz Baddaley's allegory The Secret Beauty of Sand to life by sculpting the rock man's hand as the window's centre-piece. And we gave the story out to passers by and online. See more pictures on our blog.

Awaken the Dawn
This beautiful picture was painted by Barbara Macnish as a piece of live art during our night of prayer for the UK - Awaken the Dawn - on 1-2 April 2015. Visit our blog to read more about the different levels of symbolism that inspired it and to be further inspired by these, and other insights, as you pray for our nation at this key time.

The source of all new life
Our Easter window traces the origin of all Easter symbols back to an over-flowing well of living water which represents Jesus, the source of all life. Visit our blog to see a larger image, read the explanatory text and find out a bit more about what inspired this creation.

You are LOVED!
Our 2015 Valentine's outreach built on  the previous year to tell as many people as possible they are loved - by God and by us. Visit our blog to find out how we gave away homemade heart chocs, badges, cards and thank you's alongside our window art to share God's love with everyone we could.

Closer than you think
Our Advent window explored how extraordinarily normal the people and places in the first Christmas were. And invited people to consider where God might meet with them... in the kitchen? Outdoors? While they study? Or perhaps even on the A65... read the text and more on our blog

Made to Glow
Our glowing window was created to speak a strong message of light in the later part of October and beyond. You can see more pictures of the whole window and its separate elements on our blog. Huge thanks to Alison Hodson for crafting our 7ft glowing angel!

Introducing The Blossom-Maker
Our first story window was created to coincide with Ilkley's Literature Festival and brought to life an abridged version of Liz Baddaley's story The Blossom-Maker, kindly made available to us. Find out more about the story and the window on our blog or be inspired by this collection of testimonies, written by members of the Sanctuary's community in response .

The simple truth of hope
The posters next to our global heart - originally painted by Barbara Macnish for our Valentine's outreach (see below) - read 'Jesus hope of the nations' and 'The Lord's prayer in six languages'; the multi-coloured flags all contain prayers for peace in different nations, written at our international outreach service for Le Tour de France and then displayed publicly.

Picturing and re-picturing Psalm 19
It started with Alison Hodson's painting celebrating God's creation; which led to a meditation; which encouraged others to write modern-day psalms
- God's beauty on tour; Up here; Looking up; Time - celebrating God's beauty; which were then displayed with the picture for our God's beauty on tour window - for Le Tour de France coming to Ilkley.

Seen in part (2)
We used the same art work as below to create a confessional piece for our Easter 2014 window display.

Take a look at the words used, as well as a bigger view of the picture on our blog
: The art of love made known - seen in part (again).

Thanks again to the 'proper' artists that made this possible - Barbara Macnish and Sarah Baxter from Mosaic Church, Leeds.

Seen in part (1)
Barbara Macnish and Sarah Baxter
created the original piece of live art used as the basis for this installation at our centre during Lent 2014. Sari fabric was then simply draped across it in order to visually represent the idea of seeing, and being seen 'in part'. You can download the visually led meditation Seen in part (part 1) here

On God's heart; on our hearts

Barbara Macnish painted this beautiful heart canvas to form the base for this centre-piece to our creative outreach for Valentine's day 2014. Prayers then covered it with smaller 'heart-cries'. See more pictures and find out more about the day on our blog - Loving God, loving others

Pumpkin of love
very simple idea was our way of positively engaging with a message of love on a day of darkness (Halloween 2013). This different kind of light got quite a lot of attention and we have plans to use many more pumpkins to spell the message out more fully next 31 October.

Our mural and its artist
the Sanctuary's first prayer space was dominated by a beautiful mural created by Alison Hodson - a precious member of our community. Here she talks about art, worship and how they connect for her in her painting - and this mural.

Visualising worship
Right from the start the Sanctuary's space has sought to speak for itself about God's heart of love, so art and a highly visual and kinaesthetic approach are seen and felt at our centre on a daily basis. Have a virtual walk around using our blog - trying to capture the Sanctuary in pictures.