St Anne’s Cathedral invites public to pen reflections on CS Lewis

Wednesday November 27th 2013

Cathedral librarian Paul Gilmore and Dean's Vicar the Rev Denise Acheson look at some of the reflections in the CS Lewis book.Belfast Cathedral will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of CS Lewis by opening a new book chronicling reflections on the impact of Lewis’ work by the general public.

In an event entitled ‘CS Lewis’ Chapter One,’ the Cathedral invites people to visit St Anne’s and record how they have been influenced by the renowned author in a specially commissioned leather–bound book .

CS Lewis was a citizen of the city of Belfast – born 10 years after Belfast received its city charter from Queen Victoria in 1888. He has lasting links with St Anne’s Cathedral as his uncle Sir William Ewart and several of the Ewart family are commemorated in the Cathedral.

A book 'Bigger than a Bible' (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe).Cathedral Librarian Paul Gilmore explained: “George Herbert Ewart was a linen manufacturer and member of the Board of the Cathedral from 1903 until his death in 1924. His widow and children had the Pillar of Industry carved in his memory in 1927.

“James Mathewson Ewart, the fourth son of Sir William Ewart and Lady Isabella Ewart, was born in Belfast in 1854 and died in New York in 1898. A reredos carved by Rosamund Praeger, ‘As the Shadow of a Great Rock in a Weary Land,’ now stands in the Ambulatory as a memorial to him.”

But Paul stressed this event is about Lewis in his own right, as a storyteller, scholar and Christian apologist.

“We have chosen to commemorate Lewis in a large leather bound book which has been specially made for the occasion,” Paul said.
Celebrating the work of CS Lewis at Belfast Cathedral.

“We have called it CS Lewis’ Chapter One because Lewis saw death as beginning ‘Chapter One of that great story’ and this fits with the theme of this event because it is not simply about remembering someone who died the same day as JFK and Aldous Huxley. It is about celebrating his enduring legacy and that is why people are invited to contribute a line or an essay, a comment or a quotation, which captures for them how Lewis’ legacy has enriched their lives and fed their imagination.”

The book has been crafted to resemble a leather bound book referred to in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. (‘…a whole series of rooms that led into each other and were lined with books – most of them very old books and some bigger than a Bible in a church’).

Paul said that all ages are welcome to come and write in the book ‘because all ages read Lewis.

The project has the support of the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, and well known local artist Ross Wilson, whose bronze sculpture of CS Lewis can be seen at Hollywood Arches, Belfast.

The book will be available in the Cathedral from Friday November 22, the date of CS Lewis’ death, until Friday November 29, the date of his birth.

The Rev Canon Denise Acheson considers what she might write in the book celebrating the works of CS Lewis.
Belfast's Lord Mayor signs the CS Lewis book at St Anne's Cathedral.

























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