Dear God...
“Hardly anyone can ever find God because God is right at the end of your mind after all the background thoughts are gone.”
Maisie Satchwell-Hust

Open to All



The Open to All Exhibition is a paintings tour in UK Cathedrals and large city centre churches to spread the message of God’s inclusivity.

A partnership between fine artist Elizabeth Gray-King and Open Table Network, (OTN) a charity supporting churches to welcome LGBTQI+ people and their advocates, the purpose is to open and continue dialogue amongst affirming Christians and people who visit their churches.

Our rationale is that large city centre sites welcome visitors and in that process, can share the reality of God’s inclusivity to a wider and more varied set of visitors than local congregations. 

Background 

Elizabeth Gray-King and Kieran Bohan, the Director of Open Table Network, met in Appreciating Church, an ecumenical project to encourage churches at every level to engage people in an inclusive way, listening to ‘all the voices’, building on existing strengths and skills, counting blessings and co-creating a resilient church as part of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Kieran, as facilitator, and Elizabeth as Illustrator, shared a passion about inclusion. The tour idea grew from this passion alongside the reality of the prejudice heard and experienced at many corners of churches and institutions. Illustration of inclusion by paintings placed in spiritual homes became a practical way to encourage conversation about the notion of God as Open to All.  Alongside the conversations, the tour is openly raising money for the OTN, with Elizabeth donating 40% of the cost of each painting or print to OTN.
 
Overview

The exhibition tour started in St James’ United Reformed Church in Newcastle and has so far travelled through other well sited churches and Cathedrals taking in Coventry and St Asaph Cathedral.  At each tour church, there is a deep welcome as each church wants to illustrate what its own intentions truly are. A Trustee or the Director from OTN has been able to attend almost all openings and Elizabeth and her husband Pete (photographer and logistics manager) set up and close down each individual exhibition and speak at events.  Each tour stop has had a bespoke and local feel no matter that the same images travel. Sometimes the paintings are used for preaching or for reflection for specific groups. Most churches have a team of stewards to have conversations about content with visitors. The visitors’ book has feedback about the depth of meaning people have experienced.  
 
Expectations

There are still more churches and Cathedrals to visit before the tour closes in Chelmsford in August. 100s of people have already been reached and there are expectations to reach many more.  We expect to see what we already have seen; local clergy and leaders having stunning open conversations about a topic many did not feel so free to engage with, conversations between visitors and church members which has opened unexpected dialogue, people deciding to link with a church because the stereotype of God as unwelcoming is becoming untrue for them and people buying images to allow that inclusion ministry to continue personally.  Funds are being raised for OTN. 

For more information please see: www.elizabethgrayking.com/open-to-all-tour


 
EGK Open to All Cov
EGK Open to All It Starts Somewhere
EGK Open to All Nativities
EGK OPen to All One
EGK Open to All SALES PICTURE
EGK Open to All Salford
EGK Open to All St Asaph
EGK Open to all St Js
EGK Open to All
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