A painting of the Calais Jungle refugee camp by prize-winning Chiswick artist Marguerite Horner is to be auctioned for charity at St Michael & All Angels. It is one of 24 pictures by local artists created for the annual St Michael’s Advent Calendar in aid of its Christmas Charity Appeal – ‘opening doors for people in need’.
The pictures are being displayed each day in December, in the church and on its online Advent Calendar. Bidding for the 24 pictures opens this weekend in a silent auction which will close at a party in the church on Sunday January 14th 2018.
Marguerite’s paintings of the refugee camp were recognized last month at the 2017 National Art Competition when she won the award for ‘Continuity in an Uncertain World’ with her picture of a makeshift church built by Eritreans there. She has painted another image of the Eritrean church specially for the Advent Calendar (above).
Marguerite went to the Calais Jungle in 2014 with a group organised by the Comboni nuns, who are based in Chiswick Lane. She took photographs and later painted the experience for a one-woman show earlier this year in Westminster called ‘Keep Me Safe’.
Another Chiswick artist whose work is displayed in this year’s Advent Calendar is Francis Bowyer, past president of the Royal Watercolour Society, who was invited to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan as a War Artist. His painting this year depicts Christmas at St Michael & All Angels (left).
The 24 artists are generously donating at least a third of the sale price to the Christmas Appeal, in aid of the three St Michael’s charities for 2017:
– The Upper Room, feeding the community in need in West London;
– Msaada, helping people in Rwanda become self-sufficient; and
– The Amber Trust, helping blind children fulfil their potential through music.
“We’re very grateful to the artists and we think this is a wonderful way to celebrate the season and to focus attention on our Charities Appeal” said Father Kevin Morris, the vicar of St Michael & All Angels. “This church plays a central part in community life here in Chiswick, and the Appeal builds on our tradition of outreach and mission within our community.”
Collections from two of the church’s 2017 Christmas services – Nine Lessons and Carols on December 17th and the Children’s Crib Service on Christmas Eve – will go to the charities. So will money raised by its carol singers at Turnham Green tube station on Tuesday December 19th from 5.30 to 7.30pm. People can also put money in the green Advent jar in the church, or send a cheque to the church made out to St Michael & All Angels.