Guiding the light at Church For the Night

October 5, 2014


GUIDING LIGHT: The entrance to St Peter’s Church is decorated with ultra violet canon lights to entice visitors to follow their curiosity.

Kenny Mitchell

ACCESS POINT: Nightclub chaplain Kenny Mitchell is here inside one of the glow cubes used by visitors to Church for the Night to reflect on their lives.


Art decour

LIGHT SHOW: One of the art installations designed to bring light to visitors at St Peter’s Church.



CANDLELIT VIGIL: These candles in the front part of the church helped people to reflect and if they wished to, pray.


A CHURCH in central Bournemouth has been used as a place of spiritual reflection and peace on a bustling Saturday night.

The Nightclub Chaplaincy spent half a day converting St Peter’s Church in Hinton Road into a welcoming place for believers and non-believers alike. It was open for six hours between 8pm and 2am.

They previously got permission from the vicar and parochial church council to bring life to the church that is normally closed and dark at night. They lit the whole place up with lanterns, strobe lights, candles, fairy lights and heart lights.

There were also art installations, globe boxes, a free café offering a number of hot and cold drinks and cakes and some atmospheric music being played through speakers and a grand piano.

The light show could be seen from outside and visitors were able to wander in, try out the glow cubes, leave thoughts or prayers and people from all walks of life came in.

Previous events organised by the Nightclub Chaplaincy include creating a glowing bridge on Horseshoe Common; having a creative club night; holding an exhibition in a listed building and dancing in the streets.

In converting St Peter’s Church into a dazzling array of light displays, nighclub chaplain Kenny Mitchell is certain this event had brought visitors into a church who wouldn’t usually considering entering one.

The Church for the Night event this time was a one-off event and previously it had been held three or four times a year. There are hopes to have another similar event nearer Christmas.

Kenny said: “As part of the Arts By The Sea Festival, last Saturday we had one of our light nights at Horseshoe Common. We lit over 2,000 lights there as part of a project by Bournemouth University and Arts College and the whole community came out and the common was visually transformed.

“Here at St Peter’s, we wanted to show that a church is a place for anyone to come into and find a place of peace. We wanted to create a safe environment and make it hands off.

“With the glow cubes, we wanted to create space within a space. A glow cube can be a place for some to play in and reflect but for other people it can be claustrophobic. People could write their own thoughts or prayers and we created access points for them. We have created a shimmering environment and we want to take this idea to other venues.”

Speaking about the event on a video prior to its launch, Steve Leech, added: “There is something about the space being lit up and the poetry and the visuals and just experiencing something a little bit different on a typical night out in Bournemouth.”

Kenny added on the group’s Facebook page: “We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came to Church For the Night and a high five for all the CFTN planning, set up and pack down helper team.”

He also made a special mention to Lenka for organising the cafe; David  Ashley for doing all the sonics and soundtracks for the night; Michael French for leading through the night and particularly chaplaincy worker Daisy for all the hours she put in brainstorming ideas and attending meetings.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rebecca October 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Try nightfever at St Mary’s Gosport!


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