Students from Bethlehem Icon School have worked all summer to create this new icon, the brainchild of the Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber.
He first fell in love with the sacred art or icon painting during a sabbatical to the Holy Land in 2012, where he was struck by the sight of nuns regularly saying Friday prayers in front of the icon called Our Lady Who Brings Down Walls painted on the Israeli built wall that divides Jerusalem from Bethlehem.
His questions about its artistry led him to the Bethlehem Icon School and it has been a passion of his ever since to bring the School to Lichfield to create something new and redolent of the story of Christ for the city and beyond.
Now the Dean and Chapter have commissioned a new icon of the cross – nine feet by twelve feet – to hang above the nave to remind people of the suffering of war and the hope and reconciliation of peace to mark the anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Dean Adrian explained: “Icons are said to be gateways through which heaven meets earth, and I am proud to support this ancient art form to create an image of Christ who fills all things with new life.
“I want this new icon to be a message: a message of hope and creativity: a message that says here at Lichfield Cathedral, you can explore deep things in life, and you are always welcome, irrespective of your background or beliefs.”
The cross was dedicated at a service on Holy Cross Day, September 14.
Our regional reporter for Central England, Rachel Matthews went to Lichfield Cathedral to see the cross before it was winched into place.