Dear Friend of the MMAC
Coronavirus has introduced a new set of phrases into our daily lives - social distancing, social shielding and self isolating. They represent important aspects in the lives each of us are now having to lead and are in stark contrast to our natural patterns of showing our love and care for our families, friends, neighbours and colleagues.
It is against this background that this short note is written to all Friends of the Methodist Modern Art Collection (MMAC). It is a small attempt to provide a personal communication, helped by the use of Mailchimp as a useful communication tool. We do hope that this finds you coping with the significant changes in daily living that Coronavirus is demanding, but mindful also of the tragic impact it may herald for some lives.
In a strange way the decision in May 2019 to embark on a pause in holding exhibitions of the MMAC (to enable essential conservation work) prepared us for current circumstances. We were about to emerge earlier this month by supporting Bewdley Churches Together in an exhibition of 20 works from the MMAC of which 12 had been newly conserved. Over the 18 months of planning they had also built an attractive programme of events and, despite near record floods in their area, were still determined to proceed. Sadly all had to be called off in the final week of preparation for their late March opening due to Coronavirus measures. Postponement was the favoured word in the immediate aftermath of this decision and we hope the fruits of their labours will see the light of day at some later date.
With churches across the country now closed we have been looking at how we can make use of the works of the MMAC to provide some online and digital resources. In a very short space of time Bob Williams, our Newsletter Editor, Sarah Middleton, and Katharine Farnham-Dear, a new member of the Management Committee, have produced a resource for Holy Week. This is called Paintings, Poems and Prayers for Holy Week 2020 and is in a PDF format. Details on how to view it are shown at the end of this letter. The hope is that this resource can be used for personal reflection or used more widely with church congregations or other groups perhaps for virtual meetings supported by software such as Zoom. If you can serve as an ambassador in promoting this more widely then please do so.
The work of the MMAC continues. We are looking ahead to the time when Coronavirus will be behind us and exhibitions can start to take place again. Meanwhile we hope all Friends of the MMAC will ‘stay safe’ to quote another phrase that has come into popular use. Let us pray that the message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and new life to be celebrated on Easter Sunday will emerge strongly in these difficult days.
Secretary to the Friends of the Methodist Modern Art Collection