Sir William Borlase's Grammar School

Bucks wide Religion and Art Project

Students receive special commendation in Bucks wide  Religion and Art project 

At the end of last year the Religious studies, philosophy and ethics department was involved in a Bucks wide RS and Art project. Students studied a module on religion and art, from art in worship, art which causes religious debate, to murals and graffiti. This module concluded with a very open-ended project, where pupils could create a piece of art of their own, write their own poem or research for an essay about religion and art.

We are delighted to let you know that the SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) members in our area selected two of our students from across the schools that entered in Bucks for special commendation.

Bea Minter, now in Year 9, was selected as the best entry to represent our school. When we asked her about the piece of art she produced, she said ‘I feel like I enjoyed exploring the theme of decadence and took inspiration from the Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel to relate it back to religion.’

Joshua Mustard was selected as the overall winner across all the schools that entered. We asked him about where his ideas for the poem came from and he said ‘'For this poem, I decided to interview 10 people and gather their thoughts on this topic. They were the inspiration for this poem as I was able to input their thoughts to create the poem.'

We are really pleased that these two students have been recognised in this way, but we were also really happy with all those that entered and enjoyed taking part in this project. We look forward to working collaboratively with the other RE teachers in the area and doing this project again next year with the current year 8.

The top ten selected from Borlase entries

  • Maya Misra 8A
  • Emilia Robinson 8B
  • Beatrix Minter 8B
  • Joshua Mustard  8B
  • Samuel Vinall 8B
  • Evi McEvoy 8B
  • Gareth Menezes 8C
  • Amy Clarke 8C
  • Amy Smith 8D
  • Leon Bergmans 8D

Bea Minter

I chose Decadence for my project theme and based my artwork off of the Birth of Adam in the Sistine Chapel. I used the meaning of decadence (moral or cultural decline as characterized by excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury) and thought about how, in the middle ages, many people would pay significant sums of money to “gain a ticket into heaven”. The hand on the top right is of the people benefitting from the payments, and has many golden accessories to show their wealth, and the use of purple jewels as it is seen as a reverent colour in the Christian faith, and purple also signifies royalty and wealth. The hand of the bottom left is the hand of the peasants who paid the churches, and the red vines creeping along the arm to show corruption within the population and the very skin of the people wasting away. And the use of snakes throughout the drawing links to the serpent seen in the Christian Creation Story who persuaded Eve to go against God’s words, and therefore lead to the corruption of the human race. Overall the piece tries to encapsulate the corruption the churches and population that was/is seen years ago/today.


Sanctity - by Joshua Mustard

Every moment is sacrosanct,

A precious gift from God

And yet, our world is so frenetic

That we often forget this.

It is only when we step off the treadmill of life

and find a place of sanctity

that we truly feel a sense of inner peace

And can pause for thought.

My spiritual home is our church

And the reassuring familiarity of everything in it. 

The angel, who mysteriously beckons you as you enter,

The jubilant hymns, the flickering candles, the mesmerising rituals,

But most of all, the strange quietness of the church after the congregation has left.

And my bedroom is also my safe place - when I close the door, 

I feel as though I am untouchable 

And I can declutter my mind from the busy day’s activities.

But each of us has our own unique place of sanctity - a home, a garden, a temple or a forest

Where we feel an overwhelming sense of warmth, solace and belonging.

But it is not something we should take for granted.

In some war-ravaged parts of the world, 

Places of sanctity are mindlessly destroyed.

A bomb rips away a mosque or synagogue,

And tries to eradicate the hopes and dreams of the people in it.

Or an earthquake or a flood demolishes homes

And only the resilience of the human spirit remains.

So, when these special places are mercilessly snatched from our grasp 

And only the rubble remains, 

How do people find the strength to carry on?

How do they create hope from hopelessness?

They build a place of sanctity in their minds 

Where they can be at peace and talk to God

And no one else can enter.

An impenetrable spiritual fortress…