Poet and artist Vince Laws has created 'We All Bleed Red' for the church of St Peter & St Paul, in Oulton, Norfolk. He has previously received poetry commissions for LGBT History Month; has supported Kate Tempest as a performer, and is the creative drive behind some of Norwich's most happening happenings. For his latest work he turns his attention to his local church.
"It's a beautiful, simple church, just up the road from where I live," said Vince. "Sometimes I go inside and practise poetry. Sometimes I sit on the wall outside and watch spectacular sunsets unfold."
The church tower is in need of significant repair, the heating is inadequate and wooden platforms need replacing. A new floor of pamment tiles in the nave will create a level space, and allow a variety of community uses, such as art shows, concerts, and yoga.
"I want to show the tower bleeding, in need of first aid, and wounded," explained Vince. "And at the same time, as the church takes on the new mantle of being a community space, I want 'We All Bleed Red' to be an invitation to everyone to use the space, regardless of religion, ethnicity, sexuality, etc."
Stephen Jefford, who is co-ordinating the restoration project with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for St Peter & St Paul, Oulton, said, “We’re really thrilled that Vince has come up with such a dramatic idea. I’ve know for a while that he, like many in the village, cherishes the church as an open building. His idea of making the Tower a part of his exhibition is really thoughtful. We’re also really grateful for the support we’ve had from the Church and Diocese, as well as our regular parishioners, to embrace making the church building both a place of worship as well as a community resource.”
Vince will be exhibiting an array of text art and poetry inside the church from Sunday 23 - Sunday 30 August, everybody welcome. The church is open daily, and entry is free.
Access: Parking is on grass 20 metres from the church door, the main path is gravel, and there is a ramp into the church. Other paths around the church are grassy and uneven. There is no toilet.
Donations towards the Oulton Tower & Community Project are welcome. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details of how to donate.
The restoration project to date has been supported by a first round Grants for Places of Worship award from the Heritage Lottery fund, to develop the proposals further as well as an award from the Norfolk Historic Churches Trust; the church is awaiting confirmation of further funding from the HLF towards the costs of carrying out the works and would be grateful for any financial help toward this project.