Cheltenham Christian Arts Festival

Aiming to celebrate, challenge, entertain and engage, the Christian Arts Festival returns to Cheltenham with the theme ‘Encounters’.

The Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir will perform at the Cheltenham Christian Arts Festival 2019.
The Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir will perform at the Cheltenham Christian Arts Festival 2019.

Offering an impressive programme of more than 80 events including talks, art exhibitions, workshops and performances, the Christian Arts Festival is set to return to Cheltenham this spring with the theme of ‘Encounters’.

Opening its arms to welcome everyone, regardless of faith, background, race, sexuality or age, the Christian Arts Festival takes place at venues across Cheltenham from Tuesday 23 April to Sunday 12 May 2019.

SoGlos has rounded up its festival highlights below, with full details, and a programme available at


Sure to delight opera fans, critically acclaimed baritone and Songs of Praise regular Jonathan Veira tops the festival’s musical line-up and will play St Luke’s Church on Sunday 5 May 2019.

Another musical offering not to be missed is collaborative project Elim Sound, which will perform a selection of work from its six albums at the Elim Christian Centre on Sunday 28 April 2019.

Other musical highlights include the Christian Musicians’ Collective, Matthew Featherstone principal flautist in the BBC National Orchestra of Wales on Thursday 2 May 2019, and a performance from the Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir which is sure to close the festival on a high on Sunday 12 May 2019.


With performances from the realms of drama, film, storytelling, comedy and dance, there is sure to be something for everyone at this year’s Encounters Festival.

Award-winning comedians Andy Kind and Paul Kerensa will be performing on Tuesday 30 April and Friday 3 May respectively, and fresh from three sold-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, Comedy-Rap-Jazz duo Harry and Chris will arrive on Saturday 4 May.

Perfect for children, scientist Dr Matt Pritchard will perform his Wonder Worker show on Friday 3 May, and 4Front Theatre’s play Fisherman’s Tail will offer an exciting exploration of the RE syllabus with interactive storytelling and hearty songs on Thursday 9 May 2019.


On Thursday 9 May, 2017’s sell-out event with University of Gloucestershire Professor Philip Esler will explore interpretations of encounters between Jesus and women in a talk entitled Encountering Women in Paint at The Wilson.

Learn about the connections between faith, nature and art with illustrated talk Is Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder? with David Trapnell, with tickets including buffet and entry to the Nature in Art galleries.

Hear from Louis Parsons, the artist behind The Human Story exhibition at Francis Close Hall’s University Chapel running from Thursday 25 April to Sunday 12 May, about his inspiration for the featured artworks on Thursday 9 May and with a Soulscaping Art Workshop on Friday 10 May.


This year’s programme offers plenty of workshops for attendees to encounter new experiences, people and skills.

Music fans can try bellringing at St Mark’s Church on Saturday 4 May or join a Scratch Gospel Choir Workshop Day for a one-off performance at Holy Apostles Church on Saturday 27 April.

Learn about other cultures and enjoy a Folk Dance Workshop on Saturday 4 May or a Ceilidh Evening with music from Hetty Pegler’s Tump on Saturday 11 May 2019.

There are also opportunities to learn how to make silver jewellery with Michael Dean on Saturday 27 April or paint floral arrangements with artist Celia Bennett on Saturday 11 May 2019.

For the full festival programme and tickets, visit directly.


Christian Arts Festival


Various venues across Cheltenham


Tuesday 23 April to Sunday 12 May 2019


Times vary as per event, contact organisers for details


Tickets prices vary as per event, contact organisers for details


(01242) 898403

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