SUNDAY night is the perfect time for a moment of quiet reflection about the week past and the week to come.
But if you like to start each day with a similarly peaceful few minutes of contemplation, one unlikely social media feed is worthy of a much wider audience.
@ChristianArtTod is the Twitter feed of art expert and seminarian Patrick van der Vorst, a Belgian-born auctioneer and industry expert who featured as a winner on the TV programme Dragons’ Den when his antiques-valuing website Value My Stuff was backed by both Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis.
But the entrepreneur’s life took a new twist in 2019 when he enrolled as a seminarian with the Diocese of Westminster, studying at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome to become a priest.
And it’s now a couple of years since he launched a new website linking daily Gospel readings with poignant and reflective works of art, accompanied by a short personal commentary.
From Old Masters to street artists, the website features an extraordinary range of artworks spanning the centuries, allowing visitors to consider the daily gospel reading from a fresh perspective.
Characteristically, this takes the form of a mini-homily where Patrick’s expertise helps him to forge a better understanding of both the art work and the Bible story it might illustrate – and while his Twitter followers get a link to the website, subscribers get the daily reading delivered straight to their email inbox at 6am every day.
If the 200+ Twitter following sounds modest, the website claims to be sending out 800,000 emails a month, so the offering is not as low-key as it may first appear.
*In November 2021, the website posted Patrick’s is 1,000th Christian Art reflection spread over three years and boasted 26,516 daily subscribers.
The time has come now to launch a new, updated version of our website. Over the past few months we have been working on redesigning the website and laying the foundation for more features that we may want to roll out in the future. Our new platform will launch soon, so stay tuned!
In case you missed them, here are some other favourite “Tweets of the week”:
@TheBeyonderUK: Our Chilterns online magazine may be small, but we do aim to brighten our followers’ week with features, interviews and interesting places to explore on our doorstep.
@BooksAlbans and a string of other local independent bookshops whose tweets, podcasts, signings and author interviews delight book-lovers across the Chilterns.
Do you have any nominations for favourite Twitter accounts which brighten your life? Let us know your favourites by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if they should be featured in our Sunday night series.