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The parish of Tarleton and Rufford in West Lancashire is currently playing host to a stunning display of artwork depicting the life of Christ.

Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-4pm until November 20 in Holy Trinity Church Tarleton’s new 'Community Space' at the west end of the church building, the exhibition (more here on the church website) consists of 30 paintings by Welsh artist Jez Thomas chronicling the Gospel story of Christ’s life. Ongoing coverage of the event, including a good selection of pictures, can also be found via the church's Twitter feed.

Organised by the Rector, Fr Mark Soady, the exhibition reunites artist and clergyman who first struck up a friendship in Wales, as Mark explains: “I was Vicar of St Mary’s Priory, Abergavenny, before coming to Tarleton.

“I appointed Jez as Artist-in-Residence as part of  a programme of getting parishioners to identify the skills God had given them and how they could use them to further God’s Kingdom. I encouraged him in this project to paint images from the Gospel stories of Jesus’ life.”

The current exhibition is made up of 30 paintings mirroring the blood money - 30 pieces of silver - paid to Judas for betraying Christ.

Fr Mark continues: “Look carefully and you will notice that the themes of fire and water are significant throughout. Sometimes the images will show fire ‘becoming’ water and vice-versa; challenging our perceptions of physical reality and echoing stories found throughout the Bible. Also, look for the 30 pieces of silver that are in each image; the ‘blood-money’ that was paid to Judas, which was so necessary to fulfil the earthly role of The Christ."

The Rector believes that the artworks will have a profound effect on people who come to view them adding: “I am sure that the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection will be seen in a new light by some through Jez’s amazing interpretations.”

  • Prints, cards and some original paintings are also available to purchase during the exhibition. Visit the artist’s website.

Captions for the above photos:  

Top - Fr Mark Soady points out his favourite picture to artist Jez Thomas

Bottom - A selection of the pictures on display until November 20