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Friday, September 30, 2016
Cardinal Newman takes his place in Westminster Cathedral
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Fr Paul Chavasse Provost of the Birmingham Oratory will preach at the Mass 'On the Importance of Cardinal Newman today' in his capacity as Postulator of the cause for the canonization and beatification of the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman. Representatives from The London Oratory which Cardinal Newman founded in 1849, a year after he founded the Birmingham Oratory, and Oriel College, Oxford, where he was a Fellow from 1823 will also attend.

Artist, Tom Phillips said: "This was a particularly difficult piece for me as I think of Newman as a very Victorian man and I wanted to echo a Victorian style rather than the Byzantine style which pervades the Cathedral. I think of the Cathedral as a Victorian building as well. I took a slight risk in it as it is not a typical Byzantine piece, but I think that it has worked. I didn't know what Newman looked like, and of course he is not alive now and so I couldn't draw him and I didn't want to use a photograph, so I went to Trinity College in Oxford where there is a bust and drew from that. In the mosaic his eyes are closed as I think of him as a man of inwardness and prayer and that echoes the words above him. To portray the eyes as closed I used a real person. The eyes are taken from Lord May, current president of the Royal Society."

Westminster Cathedral already has two mosaics by Tom Philips at each side of the entrance to the Holy Souls Chapel. Tom has also produced the designs for St George's chapel which have been approved but work has not yet started as fund-raising has been put on hold in the light of the major appeal for the Cathedral domes. He is also currently working on a mosaic of St David to be placed outside the St Andrew's Chapel. "I have incorporated elements from my other work outside the Holy Souls Chapel into the new mosaic of Newman," said Tom Phillips, "I try to link between the things I do, I think that the continuity is important."

Fr Paul Chavasse Provost of the Birmingham Oratory will preach at the Mass 'On the Importance of Cardinal Newman today' in his capacity as Postulator of the cause for the canonization and beatification of the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman. Representatives from The London Oratory which Cardinal Newman founded in 1849, a year after he founded the Birmingham Oratory, and Oriel College, Oxford, where he was a Fellow from 1823 will also attend.

Cathedral Administrator, Canon Christopher Tuckwell said: "We're delighted to have a new mosaic in Westminster Cathedral, particularly one of this quality. It is lovely to see the decoration of the Cathedral going on around us. This is also a very exciting time for those who are eagerly and hopefully looking forward to the beatification, and this event seems to be increasingly likely."

Source: Archbishops House
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Tags: Artist, mosaic, Newman, Tom Phillips, Westminster Cathedral


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