Beyond, the Brighton-based group known for its ‘living’ Advent Beach Hut Calendar, has created a Lent installation which provides an opportunity for people to think about the season and what it means for them.
The Lent Cross – placed at the heart of Brighton's historic North Laines – has also been devised to act as a focus for church groups which want to get involved in a Lenten devotion beyond that of their standard church routine.
The installation is a large perspex box in the shape of a cross into which people can 'post' their Lent thoughts or prayers. These are written on slips of paper resembling board game bank notes with space on each side to answer the questions, 'What could I do without?' and 'What couldn't I do without?' The Beyond slips, available for free from local shops, are then rolled up and posted into small holes set in the sides of the cross.
The cross will be in place at the junction of Kensington Gardens and Sydney Street until 8 April. Each Sunday afternoon, the Beyond community will share bread and wine from 3pm at the site in a short act of Lent devotion. This Lent observance will culminate in an event on Holy Saturday (7th April) to explore the space between Good Friday and Easter Day.
Martin Poole, of Beyond, said,
Beyond was set up to embody the creative aspects of God in a way that would be familiar to the people of Brighton and Hove with their unique cultural and artistic outlook. The team seeks to constantly find fresh expressions of Christian faith but Beyond is not necessarily a fresh expression of church as it mostly works in public spaces and art or music venues to bring a fresh understanding of Christianity to the unchurched, dechurched and churched.
Beyond is an opportunity for people to explore spirituality through a variety of creative approaches. Its aims are to help people to a deeper understanding of spirituality through the arts and other creative activities, to explore non-traditional ways of being Christian and to be a resource for church people who wish to further explore their relationship with God.
Beyond creates around 10 events a year. Using art, poetry, philosophy and theology, the community curates provocative spaces in order to inspire and stimulate discussion. The installations and events aim to create environments for questions and grappling with ideas about God – without signing up to an established line of dogmatic thought.