Holy Joes

Various venues, London 1989-2009

Holy Joes began around 1989 as a discussion group for people who were disenchanted with conventional forms of church. They met in pubs in the Clapham area of London. Dave Tomlinson led the group for a number of years, before becoming priest at the Anglican church of St Luke's Holloway. Holy Joes continued to meet in pubs but found it increasingly hard to find venues to meet regularly. They then met occasionally in the basement of St. Mary-le-Bow in the City but ceased to meet in 2009.

Holy Joes developed two kinds of public event which they could stage at festivals or in churches. Sacred Space was a multimedia meditative style of worship that sometimes included communion and would often involve the audience in a symbolic gesture. An audio track of chilled out music created an atmosphere somewhere between monastery and a club. meta::morphic was an attempt to remove anything between a person and God. A large room or marquee would be filled with various ‘stations’ at which you might be expected to do something or watch something or pray something. It was laid out like an art gallery and you interacted with whatever aspect appealed to you.

Click a title to see a sequence at large size with captions.

Sacred Space Greenbelt 1999Meta::morphic Greenbelt 2001Meta::morphic Greenbelt 2002