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  • Debbie Ducille

St Albans Anna Chaplaincy’s community art project praised by St Alban’s mayor

Anna Chaplain Maggie Dodd recently sent us this write-up about a fantastic community art project that she helped to coordinate in her city.


During April and May, St Albans Anna Chaplaincy organised a community art project involving students from Samuel Ryder Academy, residents from The Orchard Nursing Home and two community groups for older people. The project brought together young and old to create a wonderful collection of engaging artworks. The project included a visit to the school by three members of Hatfield Road daycare group to meet students and view their work, and an afternoon at the nursing home with students sketching the residents, and residents drawing some of the students too.


An exhibition of the artworks was showcased at the Mayor’s Gala Reception at Sopwell House on 17 May. On the evening, Maggie Dodd, St Albans Anna Chaplaincy lead, based at Hatfield Road and Marlborough Road, was invited to speak about the project in front of 170 guests. The project proved a great catalyst for a new and positive relationship with the school, strengthened the existing relationship with the nursing home, and brought Anna Chaplaincy to the attention of secular groups connected to the mayor. The project was also reported in the local press, and a booklet was published about the portraits, which was circulated to the groups involved and to Mayoral supporters.

Debbie says of the project:

‘I’m really delighted to see this kind of intergenerational project taking place, with an Anna Chaplain showing such creativity and initiative. The portraits are just wonderful: what an extraordinary gift for all those involved. This is a project that clearly took a great deal of time and effort to arrange, and we are so grateful that Maggie is able to lead on this kind of work: however, I hope it inspires all our network members and blog readers to experiment with ideas, big and small, in this way – you never know what blessings might emerge for everyone concerned.’

Left: residents and students enjoying an art session together, with the mayor and mayoress. Right: guests at the Gala reception admire the students’ artwork.

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