News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

50,000 young people explore 'God's Good Earth' through art

by Donna Birrell
Art.jfif - Banner image

Thousands of young people have been exploring their views on religion for an arts competition run by the National Association of Teachers of RE.  

Organisers of the Spirited Arts competition say they're delighted after receiving almost 50,000 entries from around the world for this year's theme which was entitled 'God's Good Earth?'

Lat Blaylock who's an RE adviser leading the event says the entries show young people are keen to challenge ideas around religion and ethics.

"The numbers have been most impressive, but not actually as impressive as the artwork and the theology and philosophy that the young people have been sending us. It's been great.

Lat Blaylock told Premier why they'd chosen the title 'God's Good Earth?'

"Christianity, of course routes its ecological concerns back to Genesis chapter one. But then, of course, Jesus himself talks about the foxes and the lilies of the field. And he's interested in fig trees and the way that stuff grows in grains. He talks so much about the world of nature that's rooted in Christianity, you can find a similar green consciousness in the Hindu traditions or in Islamic practice, as well.

"So the theme of 'God's Good Earth?', with COP 26 this year, and with growing consciousness, young people's awareness of the importance of the climate crisis in their own futures, has seemed like a good thing to run. We put a question mark at the end of it, God's good Earth? Is it God's earth? Is it good? Can it be better? A lot of the answers have responded to that with some deep thinking about the future of the planet, and where that might be connected with their ideas about spiritual life or about God or about prayer."

Spirited Arts works with schools to help pupils investigate and create their own thinking about some of the most challenging questions presented by religion and worldviews.

Hundreds of UK schools participate and entries also come from Australia, Bahrain and Thailand.

Since its inception in 2004 the team at the National Association of Teachers of RE has managed over 500,000 entries.

"Every young brain is grappling with the questions - whether they're doing it in the sort of formal and traditional religious ways, or whether they're doing it in their own ways then the questions about where is God's good Earth? How can we live together in harmony when we're all different? They're all thinking hard about that. But for everyone who paints a winning entry, there's 1000 more who are thinking hard about the biggest questions of life." 

Spirited Arts has also worked in partnership with the Jo Cox Foundation and entrants gave a creative response to the quote from the late MP: "We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us."

Out of nearly 50,000 entries more than 2,970 Spirited Arts finalist entries were selected for submission from 470 schools, whittled down to just 30 winners, who each receive a £25 pound prize. 


Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email