Advent calendars come in different shapes and sizes, many with chocolate gifts. In 2013 St John’s offered a calendar with a difference. Working with 25 artists from across the city this talented group created their very own Advent Calendar. For every day of Advent an artist displayed a piece of artwork depicting the lead up to Christmas. Each work was displayed for one day at the west door of the church, the glass doors that open onto St John’s Square. There is a link to each of the artworks below, or you can view them several at a time.
Each week of Advent was given a theme by St John’s vicar, Canon Ian Black, to help the artists find inspiration and leave some questions for our audience.
Week 1: 1st to the 7th December- The Announcement
Prompted by the Angelic announcements to Mary and the shepherds announcing good news of hope, light and salvation. Who tells stories of hope today?
Week 2: 8th to 14th of December – The Journey and homelessness
Prompted by the journeys of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem for the census, their fleeing to Egypt for asylum to escape Herod’s murderous plot, and the shepherds and wise men’s journeys to worship and adore. Who is journeying – commuting, migrating and fleeing – today?
Week 3: 15th to 21st of December – The commercialisation of Christmas
Prompted by a feeling among many that true meaning is being lost in the wrapping and packaging, and the party has lost the purpose. Where do we find our value and worth?
Week 4: 22nd to 25th of December – Christian Christmas
Prompted by St John’s being a place of Christian prayer and worship for over 600 years and this being the heart of what it is. What does it mean to have God among us today and where do we find the Christ-child today?