Event Details


Ashmolean Museum Beaumont Street Oxford OX1 2PH


3 September 2024 10am - 4:30pm GMT+1


Ticket: £65 – £75

About the Event

Seeing is Believing: Preaching with Visual Art, a Preaching Workshop

This workshop will explore the use of visual art in preaching the gospel – as source text, interpretation, inspiration, metaphor and guide.

Date and time

Tuesday, September 3 · 10am – 4:30pm GMT+1



Ashmolean Museum Beaumont Street Oxford OX1 2PH

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About this event

  • 6 hours 30 minutes

For over 2,000 years, Christian scripture, beliefs and practices have found expression in visual art, as artists have rendered the Christian story and the Beauty of God in a variety of visual media. For centuries, religious images and icons have educated, inspired, comforted and challenged viewers to be “seers” as well as “believers”. As theologian Richard Harries notes, if we allow it, religious art, both ancient and modern, will “arrest the eyes, stimulate thought and lead the heart.” As such, it is also a rich resource for the preacher. Engaging with visual art will enhance our preaching and can also be a vivid means of connecting congregations to the words of scripture in more sensory and experiential ways. Making use of the Ashmolean Museum’s outstanding collection of European fine and decorative arts, particularly from early Italian Renaissance, this session led by The Revd Dr Alycia Timmis will explore the use of visual art in preaching the gospel – as source text, interpretation, inspiration, metaphor and guide. There will be time for viewing, reflecting, responding and sharing ideas.

Revd Dr Alycia Timmis is Priest-in-Charge of The Northleach Benefice, in the North Cotswolds, in the Diocese of Gloucester. She is also a scholar, writer and cultural historian. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from The Shakespeare Institute (Birmingham University), Stratford-upon-Avon – and she is the first African American to do so. Prior to ordination, she was a University Lecturer (Assistant Professor of Shakespeare Studies, New York University, USA), and a highly sought after Theatre Director, Acting Teacher and Drama Coach. Her preaching and teaching has been informed by her background and experience in Drama and Theatre Arts. As a specialist in homiletics, she has served as an adjudicator for a number of speech and preaching competitions (e.g., “Sermon Slam”, Cheltenham Christian Arts Festival, 2022), and is a regular contributor on this and other topics to national and regional radio.Mother Alycia is proud to be a member of “Art + Christianity”, a community of academics, artists, clergy and theologians who share a passion for the dialogue between art and Christian faith.

Main image courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA