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The Angels Exhibition at St Barts

St. Bartholomew’s Church, Westwood Hill, SE26 22 June – 28 July

A unique collection of 60 “life-size” paintings, based on classic depictions of angels in art, is to visit London for the first time this summer. The Angels exhibition, created in 2007 by Yorkshire artist Celia Kilner, will fill St. Bartholomew’s Church as part of the Sydenham Arts Festival.

The Grand Opening on Saturday 22 June includes craft stalls and workshop, music and an Opera Trattoria. The following week the church will host the first of five Festival concerts with musicians and audience surrounded by angels. St. Bartholomew’s will also hold five open days as part of the Sydenham Arts Trail, offering a terrific opportunity to view this extraordinary collection.

Additional events include craft workshops, two family theatrical performances, afternoon teas and a lecture on the role of angels in art. Meanwhile, younger members of the church are being invited to help create an angel mosaic for display when the exhibition has left, to act as a permanent reminder.

In their original media, the Angels date from the 8th to the 19th century and are found on ceilings, in books and manuscripts, in stained glass or fabrics, in galleries, churches, cathedrals and museums. The artists whose work has been re-created range from Raphael and Giovanni Battista to Edward Burne-Jones. Other sources include a 5th century tapestry from Upper Egypt, an illuminated manuscript of St. Matthew’s Gospel from 1096 and the Book of Kells.

The beautiful church of St. Bartholomew’s in Sydenham is itself the subject of a famous painting by Camille Pissaro that hangs in the National Gallery. St Bartholomew’s has many angel paintings waiting to greet the collection, including six archangels behind the high altar, a significant work in themselves.

In recent years St. Bartholomew’s, built in 1832 with money granted to celebrate the end of the Napoleonic Wars 17 years earlier, has had to replace its ancient heating system and undertake a complete rewiring. Money raised from The Angels collection will be put towards making the church waterproof, so that in future, when the heavens open, the congregation will be able to thank the angels for protecting them against the weather.


The Angel Programme at St Bartholomew’s Church

Saturday 22 June: Grand opening of The Angels exhibition at 3pm. Craft stalls, afternoon tea and music. Join us at 7pm for an opera Trattoria, combining heavenly music with delicious Italian food.

Saturday 22 June and Sunday 29 June at 3pm: Workshops for all the family on angel book-binding and glass painting.

Thursday 4 July at 8pm: Talk by the Revd Charles Pickstone on Angels, Art and Spirituality.

Saturday 6 July and Saturday 20 July: Family performances of Anansi & His Web of Stories and Once Upon a Time from Caboodle Arts Company.

The church is also open on Saturdays and Sundays, 29 & 30 June, 6, 7 and 13 July from 11am to 5pm. Refreshments available.

Schools are invited to bring classes to the church for workshops by appointment


For more information and a complete program of events: or call 020 8693 5561