For the Inspired by Creation 2010 competition we asked you to share the place where you find inspiration and a connection with God. Many of you entered a photograph you had taken or poem you had written that captured your special place.
The competition ran during creation-tide in September 2010 and we had a great number of entries, giving the judges a difficult task selecting the three winners for each category. The judges included professional photographer KT Bruce, Canon Edmund Newell of Christ Church Cathedral, and the Rt Revd Alan Wilson the Bishop of Buckingham.
There could only be three winners for each category, and so without further a do here they are…
First prize – Anne Shaw with Sunrise at Port Meadow, Oxford
Anne said of here photo: “At sunrise, in the quiet of the early dawn, I walk by the riverside and witness the glory of light after dark, in glorious shades of yellows, orange, pinks and reds. I catch my breath at the beauty. I am daily inspired by creation and I thank God for all these wonders as I am filled with peace.”
Second prize – Kate Evans with Barbed wire by the Thames
Kate said her, “…photograph of the barbed wire was taken in Oxfordshire by the Thames on a morning when there was a marvellous Hoare Frost in January 2010. It reminds me that something as vicious as barbed wire can be transformed into something beautiful through an act of God – how much more then might I be transformed?”
Third prize – Rob Cowper with Autumn seat at Danesfield (Marlow)
Rob said, “Whenever nature splashes us with colour it declares aloud the manifold splendour of the Lord. I always look forward to my quiet times in the gardens of Danesfield. For all its architectural magnificence the wild gardens to the side will captivate any visitor.
First prize – Cobweb, Morning Dew by Antonia Cretney
ripped in two
by the beauty I have born.
my heart beats for each hunter,
for each prey.
My will is life, but the way,
O do not ask me why,
but love me as I die
and do not look away.
© Antonia Cretney
Antonia explained that, “The place of inspiration was my garden and, as the title suggests, the sight of a spider catching her breakfast.”
Second prize – Garden Sunday at Gravelly Close, Radnage
Hot sun, cool breeze, green shade
and meditative silence
Held in an exuberance of bird song.
In this secluded corner of creation
No rustling in the hedges,
All is still.
Until the red kites fly in, dip and dart
In elegance arabesques;
high above them the restless travellers
sign off in vapour trails as they depart.
So many garden poems,
Perhaps it must be so, we must all visit Eden as we may.
© Ena Jenkins
Ena explained she wrote it on Garden Sunday, which in Radnage, “… begins in the Church of St Mary the Virgin, continues with garden visits, refreshments, conversation. For me it ended here in my daughter’s garden (a large grassy area surrounded by trees and filled with bird song) in an hour of quiet reflection”
Third prize – Epiphany Snow by Claire Alcock
I had not thought it could be so white.
Ice white under frost white
Long shadows blue white.
The cold bite in a winter street,
Stiff walls, safe as a knot.
The ground as a sheet
Hard as a promise is to keep.
The everyday suspended.
Sitting in its place,
Silence, like a great white cat
Air thick with weight,
Soon the anointing,
Trees to be dressed in it,
Blessed in it,
Caressed, as a mother
Did the child.
© Claire Alcock
Clare explained that she, “… wrote this after walking in the heavy snow in Shiplake, South Oxfordshire, at the beginning of Jan 2010. It was Epiphany and I wondered if the excessive snowfall, which disrupted schools and stopped all normal activity for a while, could be seen as a blessing or a gift in any way. It was so prodigious – it made me think of the generosity of God; but also soft and silent in falling, which brought to mind at that time the gentle love of Mary for the new born King, Jesus. So snow and Epiphany became strangely wedded in my mind.”
The judges also commended the following entries, which you can read in full here:
Inspired by Volcano Ash, by Iain Strachan
Down by the Sea, by Karen Brown
Creation, Sourced or Accidental, by Dorothy Stoddart-Watson
Poet at Prayer, by Margaret Moakes
Presence, by Clare Bryden
Thank you to everyone who entered – and to the competition supporters.