Thursday, 28 May 2009


We always knew that choosing Hope as a theme in the middle of a recession was going to create an interestingly relevant evening and this proved very much to be the case.

In order to look at hope you have to be prepared to consider the other side of the equation which is most easily described as despair. One of the things we noted as we looked at imagery around Hope was how dark and depressing paintings called Hope often are. The two paintings above are both called Hope and are respectively by Gustav Klimt and George Frederic Watts, Klimt's painting of a pregnant woman features a deaths head peeping out from behind her and Watts painting was once retitled by GK Chesterton as Despair because it was so depressing!

The puzzling thing about this theme from a Christian perspective is the assertion that we have 'a sure and certain hope'. This is not a normal reading of the word which in general usage equates hope with wish fulfilment or dreams coming true. Even Wikipedia recognises that in a religious context hope has a different meaning.

In the end we came up with a metaphor which helped to explain this and gave everybody a lot of pleasure at the same time. As everybody came in to the event they were given a spoon and later in the evening we asked them all what they thought about being given this. Someone shouted out pudding and that's what we had - everybody was given a gorgeous chocolate dessert because having a spoon is a promise of dessert to come.

Another symbol of this certain hope were large jigsaw pieces that everyone could write their hopes on and take home with them. Christian hope is all about knowing that there is a picture because we have a piece of the jigsaw, even if we don't know what that picture is.

The next event is our seafront celebration of the longest day which will be an evening of mellow music with artists such as Maggi Dawn, and thoughtful words as we watch the sun set over the sea. June 21st by Hove Lawns directly opposite the end of Grand Avenue from 8pm. It's also London to Brighton bike ride day so allow extra time for traffic if you're coming down by bike!