On the portrait of The Very Revd John Irvine, Dean of Coventry

On Sunday 29th July, as the Dean of Coventry closed his final service in the Cathedral, the community gathered to see the unveiling of his portrait.

The portrait was painted by local artist Jill Swarbrick-Banks, who has been the artist-in-residence at the Cathedral since February and has generously gifted the new portrait of the departing Dean to the Cathedral

I was thrilled to be asked to be the artist-in-residence for the Cathedral’s Golden Jubilee year. We’re just over half way through and it’s been wonderful to be part of the celebrations and to see the daily life of the Cathedral and how it has such a wonderful impact on visitors,’ commented Jill, ‘Creating the portrait of John was a huge honour and I’m proud of the portrait knowing that it will mean so much, to so many people.’

Creating a portrait of our Dean is a tradition long held at Coventry Cathedral,’ commented The Reverend Canon Dr David Stone, Canon Precentor, ‘There have been five Deans (or Provosts as they were once known) in the past 50 years all of whom have a portrait displayed in our Provost’s Vestry. We will all miss John immensely and this painting captures him really well, so we will have a permanent reminder of John not only in the fruits of the ministry that he has led here but also in the portrait.

On the portrait of Mr William Lund MS. FRCS

Dear Jill

I am completely overcome by the marvellous portfolio (I hope that's the correct term) you have given me. It really is something very special and I'm extremely grateful to you for putting it all together.

Whatever I say is hopelessly inadequate but you will know I am thrilled to have this record of your work which shows the painstaking way you have built up the portrait and the amount of detail that has gone into it.

I think it's just superb and I'm very excited to have it, not just the painting but your comments and remarks from day to day and all the thoughts that have gone into the portrait.

It makes me feel very humble that you have worked so hard and for so long to produce William Lund. I don't think I deserve it!

Many, many thanks once again for your kindness.

Yours affectionately

William Lund


All images © JA Swarbrick-Banks 2015