New Developments at Hawkshead

Following my previous post, we are now in the final stages of preparation for the installation of the 4Candles system at  St. Michael’s Church in Hawkshead. The system will be a re-vamped version of the 4Candles installation at St Peter’s in Hackney, and will permit prayers to be shared between the two communities, allowing understanding and hopefully empathy to develop not just within each of these church communities, but between them as well.

As with the system at St Peter’s, prayers will be displayed on the 4Candles screen, as well as on a projection within the church. The 4Candles screen has been re-vamped for the purpose, with the inclusion of a map to illustrate which church the current prayer originates. A screenshot can be seen here:


The projection for St Michael’s has been designed to fit the aesthetic of the existing paintings on the church walls. According to Thompson (1994), these paintings are attributed to James Addison of Hornby and were throught to have been commissioned in 1680. Some of them were repainted in 1711 by William Mackreth, but were then whitewashed over several times from the late 18th Century onwards. The paintings were rediscovered in 1875-6 and then repainted and restored in 1876 and and 1955 respectively Today, the paintings are one of the most recognisable features of the church, which is the reason that they were chosen as the inspiration for the prayer projections. An example of one of the paintings can be seen here:


In order to capture the essence of the paintings as well as possible, we commissioned local artist Miriam Sturdee to paint some designs inspired by the Hawkshead paintings onto canvas, which we are now having digitised and incorporated into the digital projection. The canvases can be seen here:


We are excited to see what impact the sharing of prayers between the churches may have upon their communities, and to find out whether the parishioners of St. Michael’s are as enthusiastic about the projects as they have been at St. Peter’s. We very much hope so!

As ever, we would like to thank the Reverend Julia Porter-Pryce, Vicar of the Church of St Peter De Beauvoir Town; and the Reverend John Dixon, Vicar of the Church of St Michael and All Saints, for their support and enthusiasm for this project.


Thompson, T. W. (1994) Hawkshead Church Chapelry and Parish. The Hawkshead Parochial Church Council. Hawkshead, Cumbria.

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