Latest news from Ascension Church Hulme

Here's the latest update from Ascension Church Hulme:

Scarlet & Gold Launch
On Thursday 24 March we officially opened our Scarlet & Gold community art installation. The event brought together teachers and pupils from St. Philip's CE Primary School; members of Hulme's Aquarius Centre; Local Councillors and representatives of the Diocese of Manchester.

You can hear interviews with the artist, Tom Studman, and some of the children who took part in the project in episode 5 of our Ascension Podcast. Click here
 
Easter with St. Philip's Primary
We did a whole school assembly on the theme of Easter with singing and storytelling. We thought about how a hotcross bun has clues for what happens next, a cross, but also the stone that was rolled away. We thought about what people were shouting when Jesus came into town on a donkey and learned that Hosanna means save us.

Then later in the week we hosted years 3 and 4 for an Easter experience. The children learned a take chant and moved around the church for different parts of the service. It was really moving. We were impressed by the children's use of language. When Fr. Azariah destroyed the money changers and asked how they thought they might feel. The children said disheartened, heart broken, devastated. There was also a wonderful slip of the tongue when a little girl referred to the last supper as the last suffer. We finished with a time of prayer in the garden.
 
David Benjamin Blower
How do we reach out to those who have been hurt by the Church? How do we welcome those who have been made to feel unwelcome? How do we give a voice to those who have been ignored? These are just a few of the questions the Ascension Team has been wrestling with as we look to build and host a community of Exiles.

Helping us to form this new community is David Benjamin Blower, song writer; musician; poet; sound artist; activist, and resident musician at Ascension Church Hulme. Using music and poetry we aim to offer a refuge for those who don't feel they fit into mainstream church.

If that's you, and you feel able, we'd love to meet you.

You can contact us here

 
Ascension Podcast
This month Jolene talks to David Benjamin Blower - musician, poet & sound artist - about his work at Ascension and the nature of creativity. There are also some stories from the opening of our community art piece, Scarlet & Gold, and our resident artist Rev. Tom Studman alongside pupils from St. Philip's CE Primary School

Click here to go to our podcast
 
40
During Lent we've made available 40 poems from Steve, our Enterprise & Engagement Lead. Unsurprisingly named 40, the pieces are designed to help people to prepare for Easter through self-reflection and prayer.

Here is an example of the daily readings...

Psalm

I will sing to you loudly and out of tune from the shower,
I will sing to you quietly under my breathe on the bus to work,
I will sing to you with half remembered words,
And I will make up the rest as best I can.

I will sing joyfully to you when things are going well,
I will occasionally choke out a reluctant song when they are not.
I will sing to you because you are you,
And I will be inconsistent because I am me.

... if you want to explore more, 40 will be available for another couple of weeks on our blog
 
International Women's Day Video
We celebrated International Women's Day with a wonderful crafting event and with the opening of our Radical Library. We knew with Rev Bec at the wheel it would be an amazing day but what didn't know was that her promo video would go viral.

In collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University, the video had 11,349 views with 327 engagements! Nice work Rev Bec.

We will break the bias
 
4 to explore
Ascension aims to be a place where people can explore faith in a safe environment so we offer several different ways to gently engage with the ideas of love, hope, peace, creativity and the nature of God.

Parable: Our collaboration with Jolene Sheehan from Joy Ethic is a real life storytelling event that explore the things that make us human and includes stories from people from all faiths and none.

Fire & Gold: A weekly opportunity for people to spend time in silence and meditation before entering into another week of busyness. This hour of stillness and contemplation allows people to focus on God and leave their worries, at least for a while, at the door.

Exiles: An open and inclusive group for those who may have been hurt or ignored or marginalised by their experience of Church. If you're still looking for an expression of faith that is gentle, compassionate, loving and creative, maybe we're it.

The Enneagram: The Enneagram is a powerful tool for understanding ourselves and others. At its core, the Enneagram helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level and can be of invaluable assistance on our path to self-knowledge. We will be continuing our program of workshops later in the year.

You can find out more about times and dates here

If you'd like to find out more about any of these opportunities you can find the team's contact details here
 
Ascension Arts Venue
As well as hosting community groups, entrepreneurs and family events we have been able to provide great spaces for theatre companies, musicians and artists.

We've enjoyed the beautiful music of composer Carmel Smickersgill; the experimental sounds of Curious Ear; the joyful singing of The Villanelles (pictured below); the imaginative roars of Art with Heart; and the powerful dramatic works of Contact Theatre and Kaz Theatre Group.

If you would like to hire one of our amazing creative spaces, or know someone who does, please contact Jonny, our Operations, Systems and Venue Manager, for availability and pricing. You can do that here