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Anglican Schools deliver stunning artworks for Archbishop’s Christmas card competition


Archbishop Jeremy’s Christmas card this year has a special connection to our Anglican schools after a card design competition was won by a Year 7 student, who submitted a stunning Australian-themed nativity watercolour

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The Archbishop and Chair of the Anglican Schools Commission Jeremy Greaves is known for sending hundreds of handwritten Christmas cards annually to people across the community, and this year’s card design has a special connection to Anglican schools.

For his 2023 Christmas card, Archbishop Jeremy had the creative idea of holding a design competition, inviting all Anglican schools to submit a design for the hundreds of cards he would send this year.

“I had the idea for the competition because I like to send unique cards each year and for the past few years I’ve designed my Christmas card in conjunction with an artist from Alice Springs,” Archbishop Jeremy said.

“This year I wanted to keep with an Australian theme, but use some of the creative talent from our schools.

“Whenever I visit schools, I am incredibly impressed by the quality of the art on display and thought a competition was a good way of harnessing young peoples’ creativity to use on my Christmas card.”

Open to all children of Anglican schools and Education and Care Services in our Diocese, the Archbishop sought a design that reflected the meaning of Christmas while embracing an Australian theme.

Many schools sent in their artwork, proudly designed by young artist students.

All Saints Anglican School Year 7 student Lana submitted a stunning watercolour design depicting an Australian-inspired nativity that features a “son” rise.

Christmas card design

The winning 2023 Archbishop’s Christmas card design from All Saints Anglican School Year 7 Student Lana

“I wanted to bring the Nativity scene to the Gold Coast with animals from all over Australia, drawing from my experience living near our beautiful beaches,” Lana said.

“The sunrise represents the birth of Christ — the sun rays reaching towards heaven.”

Lana is a talented and creative artist, and her design captured the meaning of Christmas in a way that Archbishop Jeremy felt would be enjoyed by everyone who saw it.

“I had asked students for a design that captured the Christmas story in an Australian context and Lana’s design did just that, in a way that is both simple and arresting,” he said.

“I love the colours, and I love the use of Australian animals — it immediately brought to mind the Leigh Newton song ‘Christmas in the Scrub’ that I printed inside the card.”

Sherril Butterworth, Lana and Patrick Wallas

(L-R) Anglican Schools Commission Executive Director Sherril Butterworth, All Saints Anglican School Year 7 Student Lana and All Saints Anglican School Principal Patrick Wallas at the school in December 2023

Executive Director of the Anglican Schools Commission Sherril Butterworth joined staff and students for All Saints Anglican School’s end-of-year assembly to present Lana with her winning certificate and a $100 gift voucher.

For Ms Butterworth, the wide range of design competition entries from across different schools demonstrated the strength of artistic talent being developed in Southern Queensland Anglican schools.

“The project was enthusiastically embraced by students in our schools across all age groups and it was wonderful to see the engagement by the students’ blessing of Christmas,” Ms Butterworth said.

“We were just blown away by the talent and creativity of the students — a credit not only to them, but the wonderful and inspiring teachers in our schools.”

Archbishop Jeremy has written a personal message on more than 700 Christmas cards printed with Lana’s design on the card’s outside and the lyrics to Leigh Newton’s ‘Christmas in the Scrub’ on the inside.

Christmas Card featuring Australian animals

Lana’s 2023 Archbishops’ Christmas card design on display at the Anglican Schools Commission office in December 2023

With Lana’s artistic creativity and flair displayed throughout the hundreds of homes receiving the Archbishop’s card, her art will bring Christmas much joy to many this year.

“I was so surprised, and really happy and proud! I found out in Assembly on the last day of school, so couldn’t wait to go home and tell my family,” she said.

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