Following the murder of Sir David Amess last year Love Southend an inter church organisation showing God’s love throughout the city of Southend-on-Sea held a time of prayer on Zoom for his family, friends and the then Borough. Artist Helen Yousaf was commissioned to capture artistically some of the themes emerging from the prayer.
If was our privilege as Leigh Road Baptist Church (LRBC) to make our Living Room community space on the Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea (the same road as Sir David’s constituency office) available for Helen to start the work. Helen actively engaged those who visited the Living Room while this creative work was in progress, and used their thoughts, prayers and observations in creating three pieces of artwork, which she completed later.
Love Southend, as a mark of thanks for LRBC’s help in making this art work possible, donated a piece entitled ‘Suffering and Glory’ to Jane Brookes (pictured), Facilities Manager of Leigh Road Baptist Church on the 6 October.
The accompanying wording reads:
Suffering and Glory
Sir David Amess MP was murdered during a regular constituency surgery
At Belfairs Methodist Church on the 15th October 2021.
Two days later these inspiring words were released by his family:
‘Strong and courageous is an appropriate way to describe David.
He was a patriot and a man of peace. So, we ask people to set aside their
differences and show kindness and love to all. This is the only way forward.
Set aside hatred and work towards togetherness’.
Love Southend commissioned artist Helen Yousaf to paint what had been
expressed in a time of prayer for Sir David’s family and Southend.
In a collaborative artistic exercise held in this space the people attending participated
in a colourful abstract, imagining the possibilities of light overcoming darkness.
As she worked on the picture Helen was reminded of Romans 8:18-19.
‘I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing
with the glory that will be revealed in us.
For the creation waits in eager expectation
for the children of God to be revealed.’
A year on from the tragic murder of Sir David Amess, our thoughts and prayers remain with his family, colleagues and closest friends. We thank God for his service to our city and the many lives he affected through his service as an MP, friend and citizen of our city.
The artwork is on display on the glass welcome area, at the home of Leigh Road Baptist Church, Marguerite Drive, Leigh-on-Sea.