Tag Archives: Reconciliation

November 26 2017 – The Anglo-German “Reconciliation” Tapestry – Ursula Benker-Schirmer – Chichester Cathedral


Reconciliation between Germany and England for the cathedral in Chichester. Tapestry 40 square meters. By Ursula Benker-Schirmer

The ’Anglo-German Tapestry’, which includes references to the life of St Richard, was commissioned to mark the centenary of Bishop Bell’s birth in 1983.


Anglo-German Tapestry by Ursula Benker-Schirmer


http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/about-us/delve-deeper-1/anglo-german-tapestry/ (November 2017)

The Anglo-German Tapestry

Tapestry by Ursula Benker Schirmer

Tapestry by Ursula Benker-Schirmer

The beautiful Anglo-German tapestry, designed by Ursula Benker-Schirmer took three and a half years from conception to completion and is made using pure linen, silk and cotton.  It was designed to harmonise with the architecture and colours of nearby windows in the Cathedral.  The centre panel was woven in Germany and the two side panels at West Dean College, near Chichester.  Benker-Schirmer assembled the forms as if they were rock crystal fragments.  The tapestry was dedicated on 15th June 1985.
The principal symbols of the tapestry are:

The Chalice: symbol of St Richard of Chichester, at the centre of the tapestry with the cross above it. The red wine at the bottom of the chalice signifies the blood of Christ.
The Candle: is light and fire.
The Fig Trees: in the side panels are symbols of life and fecundity. St Richard had one in his garden and taught a priest how to graft them.
The Fish: along the lower area are traditional Christian symbols.
The Dove: above the Cross; symbol of the Holy Spirit and of peace.
The Triangle: symbol of the Holy Trinity.
The Lotus: in red, it emerges from the water. It supports the chalice and the cross. It is often used as a Christian symbol of birth and rebirth in Christ.
The Serpent: emerges from the lotus and rises below the cross. It symbolises struggle, temptation, suffering and hardship.
The Cross: the symbol of the victorious cross is at the centre. It is the cross of suffering.
The Circle: the artist suggests several interpretations – the world, the cycle of life, the symbol of infinity, God at the centre of our life. The tapestry shows it broken to “open the way to Eternity”.


http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/news/famous-anglo-german-tapestry-taken-down-for-shrine-refurbishment-posted-9-august-2011.shtml (August 2011)

Famous Anglo-German Tapestry taken down for Shrine Refurbishment…

Picture: Removal of Tapestry

Removal of Tapestry

A refurbishment of the historic Shrine of St Richard at Chichester Cathedral is taking place throughout August.  This interesting project will include the temporary removal for cleaning of the large and striking Anglo-German tapestry (approx 7m x 4m), the addition of specially designed metal grilles and candle stands, and the cleaning  and restoration of the marble floor.

The refurbishment has generously been made possible by the Bishop Eric Kemp Memorial Fund.  Bishop Eric (Bishop of Chichester 1974 to 2001) died in 2009.  He often said he wished the Shrine could be restored and made more worthy of Sussex’s own Saint, St Richard.

The Shrine of St Richard has been a site of pilgrimage throughout the ages.  Nowadays, the Shrine is a focus for prayer in the Cathedral where visitors can come and leave their prayers and petitions.  It is not unusual for over 200 prayers to be left at the Shrine each week.  Each day, these prayers are collected by the Cathedral Clergy and offered at Holy Communion service.

The Anglo-German Tapestry was placed at the altar in 1983 and was designed by Ursula Benker-Schirmer.  This vibrant work is one of the Cathedral’s modern pieces and it is dedicated to two bishops of Chichester: St Richard (1245 – 1253), and Bishop George Bell (1929 – 1958), patron of the arts and founder of the World Council of Churches.  The tapestry was woven in Germany and at West Dean College, near Chichester and took 3.5 years from conception to completion.

St Richard was Bishop of Chichester from 1245 – 1253 and died at Dover on 3rd April 1253.  In his eight years as a bishop, Richard had become so beloved of the people of Sussex that the Cathedral immediately became a place of pilgrimage.  The people said his name Ricardus stood for ridens (laughing), carus (dear) and dulcis (sweet).

In 1930 an altar was placed at the Shrine and in 1991 a portion of the authenticated relic, probably of St Richard’s arm, which had been preserved at the abbey of La Lucerne in Normandy, was interred beneath the altar.

October 5 2017 – Carlile Review on Bishop Bell imminent

gbh-exterior-with-cathedral (1)

4 Canon Lane [to be re-named George Bell House ?]


This Portrait is in storage within the Cathedral Library [September 9 2017] – No Public Access [except on Heritage Open Days eg September 9 2017] – “Bishop Bell has a worldwide reputation for his tireless work for international reconciliation, the arts, education, and church unity. The House that bears his name provides a place where work in these areas can continue and prosper. The generosity of an Anglican Order, the Community of the Servants of the Cross (CSC) has enabled the purchase of the House. Canon Peter Kefford (Treasurer of Chichester Cathedral 2003-2009) was the prime initiator in establishing George Bell House as a centre for Education, Vocation and Reconciliation” Photograph: Howard Coster, 1953. It is the last portrait photograph of Bishop Bell.






Bishop George Bell

High Altar and Quire

Lord Carlile CBE, Q.C has been asked to carry out a review of the Church of England’s settlement of a claim by “Carol” in relation to allegations of abuse by the late Bishop George Bell.

The complaint relates to events within the period 1948-1953. The Bishop died in 1958.

The Terms of Reference contain a full description of the objective and scope of the review.

Lord Carlile invites anybody who has material evidence and documents to submit them by sending them by email to him at carlile@carlilebell.co.uk  if hard copy is preferable to emails, please could such copy be sent to him at Lord Carlile of Berriew, House of Lords London, SW1A OPW.


Anyone responding to this call for material will be guaranteed anonymity unless:

  • Your identity is already in the public domain and/ or
  • You explicitly confirm you are content to be identified


Lord Carlile will make sure he fully understands and reflects what you tell him.  He will make a record of any meeting with you.  He guarantees to confirm the accuracy of that record with you.


Lord Carlile understands how difficult it may be for some to come forward and help him.  If a meeting is arranged, you will be welcome to bring someone with you.  He will make sure that, when requested, there are arrangements

  • To provide you with emotional support
  • To meet any travelling and accommodation costs in accordance with the Church of England’s established arrangements.

New Safeguarding concerns

Any new safeguarding concerns will have to be referred to the relevant safeguarding body.

When will the review be finished

It is planned that the review will be completed for submission by the end of July 2017.  Consideration will then be given to publication. Some confidential material may have to be redacted but this will not affect the completeness of the report.

Telephone contact

It is easier for the review if contact is made by email or by post.  However, if you wish to contact Lord Carlile by telephone please do so on 0203 432 9891, where Lord Carlile’s confidential assistant Katherine Strathern will be available to take your call in the first instance.  If you are telephoning please state clearly that you are calling about this review.

1. The Bell Chronology


2. “The Exculpation of Bishop Bell” by Richard W. Symonds [for immediate release following publication of The Carlile Review]

3. “Archbishop of Canterbury accuses BBC of failing to show same ‘integrity’ over child abuse as the Church” – Christian Today


4. Commemoration Service at St Martin-within-Ludgate [Ludgate Hill] to mark Bishop Bell’s 59th Anniversary – Wednesday – October 4 – 5pm



5. “Did Church keep abuse secret?” – The Argus – Oct 5 2017 – Page 9