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/ 7 August 2013

Engage more closely with the creative arts

Art and culture are some of the most critical and profound spheres of human activity in cities like London. Creatives can spark a revolution with a single tweet. They can frame someone to make them famous or miserable by a single picture. The worldwide fashion industry is worth £21billion. Theatre in the West End alone generated half a billion pounds last year.

And the list goes on from dance, journalism to graffiti. Almost everything around you has been touched by the creative industries. And yet, despite the massive influence of Christianity on art and culture down the ages, the perception today is that the church doesn’t do creative.

But what if the church had people who could speak the language of these creatives, and would help us to engage and take us into their world? What if these creative Christians could help us resonate with our culture while still remaining countercultural disciples of Jesus Christ? What if we had more Imagination and Creativity than we realised, waiting to be released?

We recognise the significance of the creative arts. but we’re only just beginning to think our way properly in to this. Because creative arts is sexy and there’s a bit of a buzz, the danger is that we rush head-long in to all sorts of action, without building a strong theological basis for what we are trying to achieve. Alongside all of the activity you’ll hear about, be sure that we’re working on the foundations as well.

Are you already involved in the creative arts? Do you have ideas about how the church could engage more effectively? Let us know at capitalvision2020@nulllondon.anglican.org.

This was written by the Rt Revd Adrian Newman, former Bishop of Stepney.

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