The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Companion of the Worship Arts (CWA).
The CWA is presented biennially as a way to highlight significant contributions and immense gifts in the worship life of the church at both the local and national levels. The ACC and ELCIC have presented the award jointly since 2014, with one recipient from each denomination recognized for their commitment and service to God, through worship, spirituality and the arts.
This year’s Anglican recipient is Thomas Roach of Vancouver, British Columbia. Thomas draws inspiration from the power of cloth, particularly when it has connection to sacred or community stories, to bring to life the design and decoration of liturgical space, vestments, and other liturgical items. He believes that because textiles are steeped in metaphor and materiality, are accessible, approachable, and always inviting, they are uniquely suited for community engaged art projects. Much of his work takes a highly collaborative approach in which he provides overall design direction and leads the community in the development of key components of the work, all while grounded in prayer and listening, inviting participants to discover their innate creativity. It is through many of these community based projects that his creativity and collaborative leadership have truly come to the forefront.
Born and raised in Calgary, AB, Thomas now resides in Vancouver, BC and is a proud graduate (with distinction) from the Textile Arts program at Capilano College (now University). While much of his work has been with his home parish of Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver he has also worked with a large number of congregations across Canada and in the US, as well as with the synod office of the Diocese of New Westminster and with the General Synod Office, PWRDF and with The Anglican Foundation.
The CWA awards were originally scheduled to be presented by ACC Archbishop Linda Nicholls and ELCIC National Bishop Susan Johnson at the National Worship Conference “SUBVERSIVE STORY, SONG, SYMBOL: Worship in an Age of Spectacle,” in July of 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic meant the National Worship Conference will now take place in 2021. For more details, please visit: www.nationalworshipconference.org.
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