Embracing Manchester by Ghislaine Howard
Homeless Jesus by Timothy Schulz
Alicija by Peacock Productions


PassionArt is pleased to be working with the Centre for Theology and Justice to curate an arts initiative that explores the role the arts are playing in issues of social justice within our cities and communities and to explore how the arts enable engagement in theological reflection on issues of justice. The project aims to enable artists who are actively engaging in practical justice issues to reflect theologically on what they are doing and why and to broaden the understanding of theologians & the Church of how the arts are being used to re-imagine mission through listening and communicating compassion and forgiveness to the most vulnerable; enabling our cities to reflect on and engage with justice themes by the retelling of stories to relate meaningfully to the lives of its inhabitants through music, film, literature, drama, dance, art and it’s galleries, museums libraries and theatres. As the project is growing we are launching a new initiative called ‘I long to belong’ that is partnering with Manchester Cathedral, St Anns Church and Methodist Central Hall. For more information click on the link above.

We are gathering and sharing resources about artists, artworks and art based projects that are actively expressing issues of social justice that we will make available on this website.

We are commissioning a series of essays by both theologians and those working in the cultural sphere to encourage theological and cultural reflection on various issues of social justice and the role the arts play.

We are hosting a series of ‘Conversations’ with artists, theologians from all faith backgrounds and those working within the cultural sector. I.e gallery and museum curators, composers, poets, writers etc. These recordings will be made available via Sound Cloud and will discuss creative practice, theological reflection and cultural & religious engagement within towns and cities.

We are commissioning an artist residency that will help develop our themes and conversations and result in a final piece of work or exhibition and an artist talk.  The selected artist will be partnered with a theologian to meet with 3 times for them both to theologically and creatively reflect on the chosen theme so that their practice and academic ideas will be broadened. Our first artist is visual word artist Micah Purnell from Manchester.

For more information on this project please contact Lesley Sutton – project co-ordinator and curator at lesley@passionart.uk

….Because I long to belong   

We are using the theme of BELONGING as a way to consider a number of issues related to social justice. (I.e. diversity, gender, poverty, mental health, homelessness, refugees and many more) Working alongside graphic word artist Micah Purnell we aim to generate some creative responses for the project that can be used to grow a city wide conversation around the theme of Belonging. To begin our research we would like to invite a number of people from a variety of backgrounds and contexts to tell us what belonging means to them. 

Would you consider contributing your thoughts to our research? 

We would like you to write between 300 – 600 words on a personal response or a story explaining what belonging means to you. You might want to use any of the following as a starting point for your writing.  

          • Where do you feel you belong? This might be a place, a village, a community, a family, a nation, a faith/religion, a small group of friends, a job, a social grouping, an identity grouping, a social media group, and many more. It may be a number of things or just one or two.
          • What makes you feel you belong? It might be the shared rituals you perform together, the similar clothes you wear, the birth place you share, the ideals you share, the stories you share together, the life that you have experienced together etc.
          • What does belonging feel like? Can you describe the emotions that are associated with this word for you?
          • Do you have any objects that are special to you that signify your sense of belonging? These might be ornaments passed down to you through family, or a piece of jewellery, or an object you use in ritual, a book, a piece of cloth or clothing, anything that holds meaning and memory about your sense of belonging. Perhaps you can tell the story around the objects, or send us a photograph to help tell your story.


Please can you send us an image to accompany your words, it may be of a place, your community or an object, or perhaps an old family photo, but we will need to have copyright permission to use it. If you would like to contribute:

  • Please can you send your text and image by email to lesley@passionart.uk as a word document and a jpeg high res image. 
  • Please also provide a one sentence short biography of yourself.
  • By agreeing to submit a reflection you are giving permission for PassionArt to publish and use it as a part of the project.
  • Can you visit our website www.ilongtobelong.co.uk and complete the sentence …..because I long to belong on our web wall? Please encourage your friends to join the conversation too.
  • You may want to visit us on twitter – @ilongtobelong 
  • or at our Instagram page ‘becauseilongtobelong’