St John’s church mural marks Reverend’s service

Rev. Paddy Beresford, his wife Ann (and their grandson), and the artist Nikki Bridgman
Rev. Paddy Beresford, his wife Ann (and their grandson), and the artist Nikki Bridgman

St. John’s church in Broadbridge Heath have commissioned local artist and book illustrator Nicola Bridgman to create a beautiful mural to be mounted on the church hall.

The artwork was unveiled on Sunday June 3, by the vicar, Rev. Paddy Beresford.

The mural is in honour of his six years’ service to the church.

The art is in appreciation of the love and dedication that he and his wife have brought to both the church and to the village community.

St. John’s have chosen to mark his service ahead of his upcoming retirement this September.

The church committee thought that an artwork would add vibrancy and attraction to the hall; the colourful mural measures 6m long and 1.5m high.

The inspiration for the work came from Pieter Bruegel’s painting the Blue Cloak in which he portrayed more than 100 Dutch proverbs.

Nearly 500 years later Nicola Bridgman, who has given her time freely to create this work, has depicted nearly 30 of Christ’s parables in the one scene.

For this work, Nicola has used a graphics tablet and digital pen.

She said: “There is a multitude of artist tools; brushes, charcoals, pastels, pens and pencils with so many options and settings that make any style and medium possible in digital format.

“I was able to sketch the mural directly in the software to build up layers of the various characters and cameo scenes to form the complete whole.”

BEL Signs, a local company have mounted and hung the print for free as a service to the community.

Their managing director, Peter Bedford, also lives in the village.