Chaplain’s art brings to life the women of Holy Week

Thursday 6 January 2022


The Rev’d Ally Barrett (2019), Chaplain of St Catharine’s College, has created nine new paintings to illustrate ‘Women of Holy Week: An Easter Journey in Nine Stories’ (2021, Church House Publishing) by Paula Gooder, Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral.

Composite image of the nine illustrations from 'Women of Holy Week'
Illustrations by Ally Barrett for 'Women of Holy Week'

Their collaboration explores the events of the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension through the eyes of nine female characters. Each story is accompanied by Ally’s beautiful artwork and brings to life the tension, drama and shock of the events of Holy Week, banishing any over-familiarity and helping readers enter into the Passion narrative in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Ally comments, “It's always an honour to be asked to provide the images for someone's words. Art can reveal connections and resonances that were implicit in the text, as well as offering its own perspective, especially when the subject matter already has such depth, both theologically and on a human level. It was a joy to create these paintings to complement Paula's beautiful stories, and I hope that together they will be a resource that enriches personal and communal reflection.”

While Ally’s research, teaching and publications have focused on reflective practice and theological reflection, and the role of (and experience of) liturgy in life events, she also has a background in music and the arts – she is not only a keen painter, but also a singer an award-winning hymn-writer.


Find out more about studying Theology and Religious Studies at St Catharine’s.