A legacy is not only an amount of money or property left to someone in a will. It’s that long-lasting impact of particular events or actions which influence people and places long after these things have happened.

I want to leave a legacy of love and beauty. I want my actions to testify to the goodness of God and His love for the world. It’s this desire to leave ‘beauty for ashes‘ which is at the heart of the community art projects which I lead through Dearne Community Arts’ Festival.

Many will say that art is ephemeral and community art doesn’t last. They cite vandalism and natural decay as reasons not to bother with something so expensive and personal. But the cultural history of England shows us that art and architecture have had, and continue to have, an enormous influence on our country to this very day.

So I press on, making mosaics and quilts and murals – and now selfie boards! – because I want to leave a legacy of beauty for the Dearne Valley. I want colour and vibrancy and positivity and individuality to be beacons of light and hope and faith in a community that’s often seen – by its own residents as well as outsiders – as hopeless, a lost cause, good for nothing.

I refuse to believe the negativity of hopelessness and despair, because I serve a God of all hope, who turned even the disaster of crucifixion into glorious resurrection victory. God had the first word in regeneration, and I believe He is able to regenerate Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe and Bolton-on-Dearne and beyond in every sense of the word. He is a God who makes all things new, and I believe community art is one way that this can be seen, in our generation and in the generations to come.

Come and be a legacy-maker today at our community art workshop between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at GPCC.