'Where there's Faith there is hope’ - The writing on the wall

06 April 2023

A church is sharing the faith and the concerns of its young people with a new mural that has been painted on the wall of Parkway Methodist Church in Bristol, a city famous for its street art.

The minister at Parkway, Revd Richard Sharples, came up with the idea of the mural as a way to help the church engage with residents in the St. Werburgh's community, one of the more alternative areas of the city where murals are often painted on buildings. The new, 8 x 4 meter, painting replaces a previous mural that had been on the side of the church.

hope-mural-2-0423"I dreamed of putting up a mural which expresses our engagement with the community in which we are placed," explains Revd Richard.  "This mural came about through the young people in the youth group. I asked them what they thought of the idea and they were really keen. They went out and looked at the street art that was around them.  They contacted those artists they liked and Silent Hobo agreed to work with them on the new project.  Together they workshopped ideas on what they wanted to see in the mural.”

The mural features the life of a youth today, expressing their concerns about the world they live in and how they perceive it. All of the young people involved can be found in the picture, with Silent Hobo letting them put the final touches to it themselves.

"We are thrilled with the result," said Richard, "both in terms of the quality and what it says about the things we care about.  It expresses young people’s worries about pollution, racism and religion. On one side you see the damage done and on the other side you see a glimpse of change. Finally in the middle is a clear statement ‘Where there is Faith there is Hope’. With this statement they are demonstrating that they have hope for change and pray that with God anything is possible.”