The Creative Year grew from the author's Artist Residency at St Michael & All Angels Church in central Bristol, where the church commissioned the work to open a window onto the artistic activities to and fro across its doorstep. The resulting publication reflects the diversity of artistic works, viewpoints and practices in a community-oriented inner city parish. The author has included her own work alongside that of others and created a book celebrating the work of artists in the church, its parish and neighbourhood, and the value in general terms of the creative arts to worship, community and private life. Its vision is threefold: to encourage the artistic life of churches; to contribute original grassroots views to conversations about the arts in community and in spiritual life; and to reflect on the meeting of artistic practices with religious belief and practice in a format accessible to readers from a variety of backgrounds.
The book is arranged around the seasons of the ancient liturgical year. It is an image-rich catalogue illustrated with contributions in the form of works and comments from some 50 artists and art lovers from differing artistic and faith traditions, and with forewords from the Bishop and Dean of Bristol. Contributors include visual artists, musicians, writers, arts commissioners, clergy, parishioners, local residents, schools, and others from communities further afield. The book includes contributor pen-portraits, an annotated bibliography and a full list of illustrations. It is designed by the author for a contemporary feel and an easy to follow layout.