A CHURCH in Blackbird Leys has invited residents to join in its Easter celebrations by contributing to a huge mural.

The Church Of The Holy Family, in Cuddesdon Way, has been encouraging residents to join in with the painting of the 32ft mural, which will be displayed on the outside of the building.

Designed by estate artist Debbie Scrivener, the mural is based on a different theme chosen by the group each year.

This year’s theme is women and so residents have been including more women in famous Biblical scenes including the Last Supper, the crucifixion of Christ, the empty tomb of Christ, and the moment when Mary Magdalen is told of Christ’s resurrection.

The four pieces are eight feet wide each.

The Rev Heather Carter said the activity had proved a great opportunity to bring people from inside and outside the church together.

She said: “We did one last Easter and we also usually make one for Christmas as well.

“We do the painting on Sunday afternoons and this year have had about 20 people take part after word got around.

“Most of them are not regular churchgoers and that’s really why we do it.

“When we put on a musical performance last year we had 20 out of 25 people involved who were not part of our church.

“Ever since then I have been trying to get people with little connection to the church to come and do things such as painting our Easter mural.

“It is about getting the gospel out there without being in your face about it.”

Ms Scrivener, of Merlin Road, designs the murals and helps residents take part with workshops.

The 45-year-old said: “I have done lots of projects around Blackbird Leys over the years.

“The estate gets a bad name but things like this are about showing there is more to the area and there are plenty of talented people here.

“Doing projects like the mural gives people a chance to do something they haven’t done before and it’s been really nice to see a wide range of ages too.”