Sculptures have been installed at St Matthew’s Church, in Tarring Road, as a focal point and to give people a place to go for reflection.
Planning started back in 2014, when the Rev John Chitham, who was vicar at the time, set up an informal committee to explore changing the use of the patch of ground at the side of the church.
He suggested artworks and plants as the basis of the project and was keen to involve local artists. The idea was for all of the works to focus on the ‘l am’ sayings of Jesus.
The first piece in the trail came from Goring artist Lesley Stepney, who donated a figure entitled Elation to the project. This now represents ‘l am the Resurrection’.
The planning group was then introduced to chainsaw wood carver David Lucas, who graduated from Plymouth University with a BA Hons in product design before taking up the chainsaw to create bespoke sculptures.
He initially created three sheep of varying sizes for the trail and more recently produced the large-scale shepherd carrying a lamb, to reflects ‘l am the good shepherd’.
All works on the site, including the benches, have been funded by the congregation. The project will continue to grow as further pieces are added to the trail in future.
Many people from the church have been involved, including Anthony Slaney, Terry Purser, Judith Slaney, Peter Goodall, Katie Bramley, Mike Walmsley, Charles Montagu, Phil Rugg and Mark Purser.
The spiritual art trail will be launched on Saturday, March 24, at the free Great Easter Adventure at St Matthew’s, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
Activities for all ages include hot cross bun making from 10.30am to 11.30am, plus crafts and activities such as dressing up, colouring, cress sowing, word search and cross stitch from 10.30am to 11.50am.
All ingredients and materials will be provided. Lunch of hot dogs and hot cross buns will be served at midday.
Young visitors will be able to make sheep masks near the shepherd, so parents can take pictures if they wish.