10 metre construction wall given heartfelt makeover by local artist and volunteer

published on 19 Feb 2018

A local artist and Salvation Army volunteer have completed a striking mural of bees on a construction wall which is approximately 10 metres long outside the church and charity’s shop on Washway Road in Sale, Cheshire.

Mum of two, Gill Parish, began work on the mural after overhearing shoppers in The Salvation Army charity shop talking about the blank construction wall. 

Gill said: “Creating a mural on the construction wall has been a wonderful experience as it’s something the community have contributed to. As I was spray-painting it passers-by would often stop and offer to have a go.  The feedback we’ve received has been wonderful.  So many people have commented on how it has brought beauty to an otherwise ugly wall. It’s also helped to raise awareness of The Light, our charity shop - and it encourages people to pop in.”

Gill is a professional artist and was encouraged to pursue art as a career by the support she received when she started to volunteer with The Salvation Army. Gill, continued: “Before I became involved with The Salvation Army I hadn’t ever really gone to a church consistently before.  The faith and trust in me I experienced gave me the confidence I needed to explore taking up art as more than a hobby. It’s been wonderful and now I have my own Etsy shop and work with local primary schools.”

The mural took around 20 hours to complete and was created using spray paint. It includes a collection of 22 bees, each one a tribute to the 22 people who lost their lives last year in the Manchester arena bomb attack.  Bees have become a way of showing solidarity with the victims of the attack and The Salvation Army Emergency Response team were there on the night, supporting the emergency services.  In the weeks and months that followed the church and charity’s corps (churches) across the area supported the communities that were affected.

Gill continued: “It was very important to me to create something bright and beautiful. There are 22 bees in the mural, which are all different. I felt it was very important that bees played a big part in the mural after the bomb last May. Like so many people in the area our congregation were affected and The Salvation Army as a church and charity were involved on the night. I wanted to ensure the victims were remembered and remind people that in the darkness there is light, which is apt as that’s the name of our shop. That’s why we decided to include a line from the Bible - “light shines through the darkness”.”

Majors Graham and Dawn Mizon are the church leaders at Sale Salvation Army. Graham, said: “We were keen to support Gill in her vision to transform the construction wall outside our charity shop. The result is beautiful and it’s become a real talking point in the community which has been lovely. We support the community in a huge range of ways and the mural has helped us to raise awareness which is fantastic. We’d like to thank local people for their on-going support.”

The Salvation Army’s charity shop, The Light, on Washway Road in Sale is a community hub which opened in March 2017. It’s a place where the community can come together and receive support and be sign posted to services.  There’s a seating area where local people can chat and relax. There are lots of activities that take place including computer classes and a Knit and Knatter group. 

Sale Salvation Army Corps would like to extend a warm welcome to the community to find out more about the worship as well as support – visit here.