Faith and Place network members, Dr Andrew Rogers and Dr Richard Burgess, have received funding from Southlands Methodist Trust to investigate the iconography and aesthetics of black majority churches in a London borough. Entitled “Signs of Wonder”, the project reflects on the theologies embedded in their signboards, banners, architecture, websites and media products. Dr Mark Minott, the lead fieldworker, has just completed photographing churches and interviewing pastors about the meanings and narratives associated with these signs. Watch this space for further updates later this year!
Somewhat belatedly, Faith and Place network members may be interested in the Religion and the Public Sphere blog from the London School of Economics. As part of the Pentecostalism in Britain series, network co-leader, Dr Andrew Rogers, and network member, Bishop Dr Joe Aldred, have both published pieces on this blog in recent months.
Take a look at “How are black majority churches growing in the UK?” which includes discussion of the network and policy briefing. See also “Pentecostalism in Britain today” which profiles the diversity that exists in British Pentecostalism today.
This panel discussion takes place at Bosse & Baum, Copeland Park Industrial Estate in Peckham, South London – at the geographical heart of African Christianity in the UK. The panel features perspectives from the faith, local authority and arts community, and includes Faith and Place network investigator, Andrew Rogers.
The panel will be engaging with the work of Chloe Dewe Mathews, whose work is being exhibited at Bosse & Baum. Commissioned by Tate Modern, ‘Congregation’ is a video installation which explores collective religious experience and the nature of expressive worship in south London’s African majority churches.
Taking place from 6.30-8.30pm on Tuesday 2nd June, further details are available at Tate Modern and Bosse and Baum.
Following on from the first network event, Perspectives, and the subsequent report (see previous post), Andrew and Richard have identified four critical themes to be explored in more depth at the upcoming Explorations event on the 19th March 2015 in Birmingham. These themes are set out below or you can download them here. Continue reading Critical Themes for Explorations event
A number of Faith and Place network members have contributed to recent press stories about noise pollution. Yemi Adedeji, of the One People Commission, and Dr Andrew Rogers, University of Roehampton, spoke to the planning issues faced by new black majority churches for the December 2014 – January 2015 edition of Environmental Health News (EHN) (subscription only). Entitled ‘Peace on Earth’, the piece addresses issues around ‘noise pollution’ and planning more broadly, identifying a number of good practice cases.
A Sunday Times article on 21st December 2014 (today) takes a less eirenic tone, headlined ‘“St Boombox” ruins silent nights‘. Largely focussing on noise issues for new black majority churches, it nevertheless quotes from Ade Amooba, Danny Webster and Dr Andrew Rogers on the growth of new black majority churches and their exuberant worship, as well as the need to review planning policy for such minority faith groups.
One of our Perspectives speakers on 4th December, Synthia Griffin, Curator of Regeneration and Community Partnerships at Tate Modern, spoke of the Sunday Service project carried out for Tate Modern by photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews. The project draws on parallels between the former industrial use of the museum and the industrial unit locations of many new churches in the same borough (Southwark).
Chloe’s work explores the dynamics of new black majority churches in the borough, with a particular focus on the juxtaposition between the industrial exterior and the emotionally engaged vibrant community within the walls of the churches. An exhibition of the project at the Tate earlier this year is due to be followed up by another in Peckham in 2015. Watch the project video HERE.