The original series of paintings on the side walls of the Bell Catholic Church were completed for the church’s 95th anniversary. They portray a pictorial history of salvation as told through the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Two major themes underlie the stories represented in the paintings. These are the covenants formed between God and his people, and secondly, the establishment of the Eucharist.
Covenants throughout History
A covenant is more than a contract – it is a sacred, family bond – like marriage. God unites himself so intimately with his creatures in this bond so as to eventually become one of us in order to redeem us and restore us to paradise.
Beginning soon after creation God, our Heavenly Father swears a series of ever expanding covenants with his children:
First Covenant – through Adam and Eve with a man and woman
Second Covenant – through Noah with a family
Third Covenant – through Abraham with a tribe
Fourth Covenant – through Moses with a nation
Fifth Covenant – through David with a kingdom
Sixth Covenant – through Christ with the whole of mankind
Establishment of the Eucharist
The artworks also follow the history of the institution of the Eucharist. Christ’s self-giving sacrifice was not to be a once-off event in our history. Christ chose to perpetuate the offering of His body and blood to the Father until the end of time. It is the manner that God would use to remain intimately and individually united with us through the subsequent generations. It would be such a precious and ultimate gift that we see it prefigured from the earliest of times. The series begins with Eve giving Adam the food which brings with it sin and death. It ends on the opposite wall with Jesus giving the food of life.
The Story of the Incarnation
The back wall of the church features three paintings which were completed for the centenary of the church and detail the key moments of the incarnation of Christ.