Gormley in Wells

Today the statue “Doubt” by Sir Antony Gormley arrived in Wells. In a series of complicated manoeuvres it was raised into a niche on the West front of Wells Cathedral. The statue will stand in one of the empty niches that used to have either a saint or bishop in it. To be precise, these things have numbers you know, it will occupy niche 338 below the North-West tower.

The work to get the statue in place took much of the day. The Cathedral Works Department and Gormley Studio teams worked collaboratively. They wanted to ensure the installation is both part of the West Front but has no impact on the historic fabric. A temporary plinth with secure non-invasive fixings and protective measures will be used. They have all been specifically designed to seamlessly integrate the sculpture with the Medieval architecture. Everything is fully reversible to return Niche 338 to its original condition.

Having a sculpture called “Doubt” on the front of a cathedral is not without controversy. The Leveller hears that a former senior clergyman has expressed disquiet. But there are plenty in the church that would assert that doubt is also an integral part of faith. Either way it will certainly provide a talking point. And having the statue on loan to Wells will be good for local tourism and the local economy.

Meanwhile here are courtesy of photographer Len Copland, are some photos of the statue being raised:

One comment

  • ‘The power of the press is very great, but not so great as the power of suppress’. (Lord Northcliffe (1865/1922.)

    Dearly beloved brethren, the Scripture movest us in sundry places; we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. “Apostasy is a theological category describing those who have voluntarily and consciously abandoned their faith in the God of the covenant, who manifests himself most completely in Jesus Christ.” Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s. clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    Genuine Nobility Needs No Adornment! ‘Noblesse’ witnessed in the ‘Herculean’ West Front Appeal; Patron, HRH the Prince of Wales, under the ‘ministry’ of Dean Patrick Mitchel KCVO, the ‘legacy’ to succeeding clergy.

    The ‘final’ bastion of our Freedoms the Fourth Estate ’emasculated’ in the false ‘panacea’ of ‘digital’ media, witness our ‘centuries’ wilful demise across the UK, our local newspapers; notwithstanding the Cairncross Review ‘elevated’ to the House of Lords. When you refer to an ‘anonymous’ ‘senior’ cleric, the ‘fourth’ estate would have been aware the ‘exhortation’ of the former Bishop of Bath & Wells/Canterbury; witness to the Rubicon’s – Articles of the Established Church.

    “I am astonished to learn this and do not believe this to be at all appropriate. To make a point about unbelief just as people come to worship – and in the mother church of the diocese- is misplaced. It is rather like a preacher standing in the pulpit and beginning ‘ I am going to speak about God but I am not sure he exists.”

    The ‘Fourth’ Estate being aware the ‘author’ the former Bishop of Bath & Wells/Canterbury, sometime, primus inter pares, Pastor George Carey, former Principal, Trinity College, Bristol, rooted in the evangelical tradition; paradoxically the Dean & Chapter ‘foundation’ governors in our two excellent local secondary schools; for if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?*

    The Archbishop of York having issued a ‘clarion-call’ to contemporary society to be aware the Metropolitan ‘elite’ emergent here in this ‘ancient’ place, masquerading as CICs Companies, without any ‘democratic’ mandate.


    Graham E Livings, Lilliput, Upper Milton, WELLS. BA5 3AH
    PS: Thank God for Saul of Tarus!

    *Daily Telegraph:14 AUGUST: ‘Losing parishes would devastate the Church’.


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