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An Artful Showcase of Unofficial Saints
Updated April 2020 in time of trial worldwide

THE ADELANTE GALLERY is an uncommon example of art with its sleeves rolled up.

It's home-made. By a very amateur artist, carpenter and designer. Squeezed in his garage at home. But something seriously different to enjoy, appreciate and learn from. And very ecumenical, on wheels.


Adelante is unlike other galleries - in size, shape, content, and purpose. It's not fixed in one place, has no admission charges or cafe, with exhibits that visitors are welcome to touch.

This Gallery is a tall, square, freestanding, hollow, wooden column - packed with graphics and quotes; some on hanging panels steadied by small magnets.

The crosspiece is made of balsa wood, carrying a vintage sickle and a WW2 cannon shell.


Other exhibits include socks sent by Churches Together in England; a carpenter's pencil from the TUC; breathing space by a Quaker school; earth from a German church and memorial garden, Central Park NY and an airfield in Northamptonshire; and a fragment of an historic 1943 Flying Fortress.


Oh, and an Alphabet of Unofficial Saints.

The Gallery carries an uncommon diversity of voices on behalf of common humanity, including Oscar Romero, Malala Yousafzai, Henri Dunant's candlelit legacy, Kurt Vonnegut on the Beatitudes, Jo Cox MP's nameplate in a Brussels square, Desmond Tutu's elephant, Daniel Berrigan's office poster, and Mary Robinson on human rights.

You'll see word of The Forgiveness Project, NGOs in Africa and Guatemala, reporters on the Mexico-US border, successors to Bartolomeo de las Casas, The Great Get-Together, debating in The Philippines, a student protester in El Salvador, the work of conservators, the West Door of Westminster Abbey, and a tribute to People Who Make Waves.

So the Gallery is a sort of vertical commonplace book - with items and ideas gathered together to:

    Chime with the canonisation of Oscar Romero as an official saint of the Catholic Church on 14 October 2018


    Show why he’s respected far and wide - for all sorts of people of faith, and none


    Act as a springboard to appreciate a wide range of Unofficial Saints around the world: other inspirers, encouragers and wave-makers in a variety of settings


    Share stories of social justice and show solidarity with common humanity


    Be suitable to visit and be put to use by schools, churches and other communities with suitable settings


    Amuse the eye, mind and soul



Spring 2020 with Covid-19 references
Full Guide to all the Sides  PDF


This is a new 4-page document for April 2020 - about appreciating all sorts of saints helping inthe time of Covid-19. It includes quotes and examples by Pope Francis, Dr Phyllis Zagano, and Danusha Lameris in her poem Small Kindnesses. There's also the Alphabet of Unofficial Saints for anyone wanting to while away their time on a new version.


2-page Guide for Visits to Schools and Churches PDF

The Gallery comes in several sections
that are easy to lift and assemble.
Small castor wheels on the base mean that
it's easy to move around.

The Adelante Gallery is unusual in being compact and built to travel around - in a family car:

- Two plywood boxes that stack to make the column
- Four solid wooden panels carrying laminated quotes
- The lightweight crosspiece with fixed sickle and cannon shell
- A solid base 900mm square to keep everything stable
- Castors underneath the base to make the gallery easy to move or turn
-  A4 information stands for the base
- a retired guiding angel ready for Oscar Romero Lookalike Night in Heaven
- and space for you to add your own items

Made with secondary schools, churches and other communities in mind, The Adelante Gallery is free to borrow. If you’d like to discuss a visit, the requirement is an indoor space of at least 5 metres square that allows it to stay safely for a minimum of two weeks.

If you want to use it to raise funds for a charity, that’ll be fine.

Gallery creator Hugh Gibbons invited several people to have a small but cheery part. The balsa wood was funded by Pax Christi, Holme Grange School and the Vice-Chancellor or the Royal College of Art. The Fairtrade socks came from Churches Together in England. And the carpenter’s pencil from Frances O’Grady of the TUC recognises that trade unions around the world are among Romero’s many admirers.

Adelante is the creation of Hugh Gibbons in Bracknell, UK.
It’s the latest in his knockabout series you can see at www.just1.org.uk/galleries

This includes The Paternoster Gallery - a collection with over 20 versions of The Lord's Prayer. If you'd like to see how one school put this to use, visit http://outreach.holmegrange.net/2018/09/17/a-right-our-father-workshop

Hugh has given dozens of public talks on his diversity of activities. There's never a fee asked for, but any donations go to charities working on education overseas.For more information, contact him at


Trustee of the ecumenical UK Archbishop Romero Trust, Stephen Davies got the full 4-metres-round tour of the Gallery during a fine Romero afternoon on 24 November 2018 at St John's Cathedral in Portsmouth. The event was organised by Mugeni Sumba of Oaklands College in Waterlooville. As well as a talk by Stephen, there was a Thanksgiving Mass for the Canonisation of St Romero, with Bishop Philip Egan being the main celebrant.

Afterwards, the Gallery was loaded into the back of a family car heading for Oaklands, where it over-wintered and was put to use by the school in their
Oscar Romero Award Programme. This included outvisits to local primaries and parishes - ending at the lovely St Michael and All Angels at Leigh Park. There the Gallery was stationed by the choir (to the right of the guitarist tuning up!) It was able to play a part in the Creation Mass arranged with CAFOD Portsmouth.


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