OAC News | Art, Evangelism & Murder in France

19th January 2017
Art Evangelism
OAC News | Art, Evangelism & Murder in France

It is always good to be able to combine ministry and holiday. This September saw our National Director, Marten Holmes travel to France for the month on just such a trip

Marten and his wife Helen crossed from Newhaven to Dieppe in his camper van and wound their way down to Bordeaux to visit Peter and Alison Kennelly. Peter was the previous GB National Director before standing down two years ago to set up a new evangelistic work in France.

Marten said it was good to meet up with Peter and Alison and see where they are living and ministering. Bordeaux is a beautiful city with a large student population but, in common with most of France, not very many Christians.

From Bordeaux Marten and Helen took the slow road to Provence to meet up with ex-OAC’ers Mark and Sue Howe in Cavaillon. Mark had arranged for Marten’s evangelistic photo exhibition, “A Sideways Look” to be exhibited for a total of 3 long weekends in a local gallery space. The exhibition takes inspiration from a number of well known ‘Old Masters” which are recreated and re-imagined to communicate the same gospel truths but in a contemporary way.

The exhibition had attracted a number of sponsors including the town’s mayor who attended the opening evening along with around 150 other people. All the texts that accompany the photos, together with a gospel tract, had been translated into French and they were well received with many interesting conversations.

Marten preached three times at the Howe’s home church and led a youth evening too. He was struck by the many cultural differences between the Protestant church in France and the UK church. One delightful one being the practice of church services being followed by nibbles and aperitifs!

The time in Cavaillon was slightly overshadowed by a domestic quarrel that resulted in a woman being shot dead not 20 meters away from where Marten and Helen were camped on the drive of the church manse, which meant Marten had to give a statement to the police!

“It was great to meet old friends and make new ones; and a real privilege to take the photo exhibition across to France,” said Marten. If you would like to discuss using the exhibition for an evangelistic or church event you can email Marten through the contact page.

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