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'It's an opportunity to share the Gospel': Christian artist seeks to paint 310 churches in Leicestershire

by Alex Collett
Hayley 1.jpg 6.jpg - Banner image
Hayley Fern

A Christian art teacher has set herself the challenge of painting all 310 churches in her local diocese of Leicestershire to raise awareness of their beauty. 

Hayley Fern began capturing the churches in watercolour during the school holidays last year and has painted 56 so far. 

Fern told Premier, the challenge has opened up a new door to reach more people with the Gospel: "It's opening up the opportunities to have conversations with people that, maybe wouldn't normally talk about going to church or being part of a church. 

"I just want to be able to share my faith journey with people that might not ordinarily have the opportunity to talk about God. 

"When I'm painting the churches, I've had some incredible conversations with people that maybe wouldn't normally expect to find somebody sat at the church, you know, maybe they've just needed somebody to talk to at that moment in time."

The 48-year-old has given herself a five year target to paint all 310 churches and hopes to eventually release a book on the churches' history. 

She feels that painting the churches has brought her closer to God: "There is an element of prayer, there's certainly a mindfulness about it.

"It's been sort of mentally very healthy for me. It has made me feel a little bit more reflective, a little bit more prayerful in my everyday life."

Fern says she is really blown away by the positive feedback she has received.
"What's been incredible is there's just this massive American following, Canada is following me and people really are being so incredibly supportive. I'm so grateful."

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