Creative Spirit is a series of eight study sessions based on the Methodist Modern Art Collection. The studies are provided on disc, along with a booklet containing questions, prayers, Bible readings, leader's notes, and more.

The studies are designed to encourage people to respond imaginatively and creatively to the Bible from a non-didactic approach. Creative Spirit is compiled by Sarah Middleton, Elizabeth Moore, David Hollingsworth and Neil Thorogood who are artists and educationalists from within the Methodist Church, Church of England and United Reformed Church.

Who is it for?

  • House groups
  • Local preachers and leaders of worship
  • Retreat and quiet day leaders
  • School and youth groups
  • Individuals wanting a fresh, art-based approach to personal devotion

"It worked very well with a group who are not particularly clued up about art." (house group leader).

What does it comprise?


Each DVD case contains a booklet and two discs: a DVD for TV use; and a PowerPoint CD designed principally for projection. The 48-page booklet contains notes for leaders, questions helping viewers to explore the paintings, prayers, bible readings and further material for deepening discipleship. It includes outline study sessions, comments from visitors to exhibitions of the Methodist Modern Art Collection, information on the eight artists featured, and colour reproductions of these 20th and 21st century works of art:

  1. Dalit Madonna by Jyoti Sahi
  2. Nathaniel (asleep under the fig tree) by Mark Cazalet
  3. Storm over the lake by Eularia Clarke
  4. The pool of Bethesda by Edward Burra
  5. The healing of the lunatic boy by John Reilly
  6. Aimez-vous les uns les autres (Love one another) by Georges Rouault
  7. The cross over the city by Michael Edmonds
  8. Untitled-Pentecost by John Brokenshire

Session material in the booklet may be photocopied for one-off use. The full collection is reproduced on the discs.


Creative Spirit is published by the Methodist Modern Art Collection, with the generous support of Southlands Methodist Centre, Magnet Resources and The United Reformed Church. Copyright: Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes.

It is available from Methodist Publishing.


This collection of 40 modern works of art depicting scriptural scenes (predominantly New Testament) is itself an amazing resource. The DVD shows each picture, first untitled, then with the title and artist. This allows time to reflect on what is being portrayed before knowing what scene was in the artist's mind. Some events (eg. the road to Emmaus) are depicted more than once, which could provide an interesting discussion.

The eight works selected for a special presentation are gradually revealed with questions to evoke discussion. The questions vary according to the subject depicted. Individual parts of these paintings are highlighted to focus attention on the composition of the work. This part of the appreciation or reflection could easily be extended. This is followed by a written prayer appropriate to the scene.

The booklet offers further ideas for response, biblical study and further details about the paintings and other people's response to them. The DVD and the booklet provide a starting point for what could be a very imaginative, creative and fruitful resource.

Sheila Grimwood