North Swindon vicar Reverend Mike Haslam has been spreading the message of God in a creative way to the children of St Francis Primary School in Taw Hill.
In July he worked with a group of pupils to create a tryptch of murals which welcomed the children on their return to school in September.
Rev Mike said he had been keen to find a way of giving the school hall more character and engaging children and their everyday experiences. Drawing on his skills as a painter, he and headteacher Clive Westall decided murals would be a symbolic and attractive way of giving the hall both decoration and colour.
Year 5 pupil Kyra Jenkins, said, “we feel special to be involved. We got to make the mural our own, and Rev Mike used our ideas and designs, and put them together.”
James Turner said he thought that the murals represented important messages. “The one of Isambard Brunel is about how good work pays off, it encourages us to work hard. And the other panels represent caring for the world, and friendship.”
Rev Mike said he wanted features from the children’s lives to be represented: their town, school, and world, and also how these connect with God. The murals contain football, homes in North Swindon, and railways which made the town famous. The three panels are linked by a continuing theme of sky, land and sea. “It was great fun and the kids enjoyed taking part. Working in oil paints is a different medium for them, and they loved getting their own ideas across. I hope they enjoy the end result for years to come.”
Rev Mike Haslam and Year 4/5 pupils show off their work before it was mounted in the school hall