Arts and sacred places
||The sculptor Ian Judd beside his new statue of Our Lady of the Crag inside her ancient shrine in Yorkshire
England is rich in sacred places, many forgotten or little known by their communities. Other sacred places are being created as new communities arise in Britain with fresh spiritual outlooks. To commemorate the Millennium, the Arts and Sacred Places project worked with four such communities, two old and two new, to create arts projects celebrating their sacred places and encouraging local interaction with them.
The project was funded by Arts For Nature and the Millennium Commission, and supported and administered by Sacred Land. Sacred Land networks with local communities in Britain and Ireland to restore and conserve their sacred places as a way of conserving the environment. It is itself supported by ARC, the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, which works internationally with WWF to promote an active link between religions and conservation.
The Sacred Places Writing Competition, as part of the project, led to the creation of a book of Songs of Sacred Places. Children at schools in each of the four communities, from ages 6 to 16, were asked to write about their sacred places, after visiting them and finding their own inner response to the sacred. The poet Blake Morrison helped us choose the winners, and prizes were awarded.
Arts and Sacred Places worked with four communities, in each of which new works of art were created to celebrate the sacred place:
>Our Lady of the Crag
>Buddhist Garden of Contemplation
>The Ashbrittle Yew