A new volume Chichester Cathedral – The Chapels: History and Response has been published five years after the death of Professor Paul Foster who came up with the idea.
Published by the University of Chichester, it is the final volume (No 36) in the series of Otter Memorial Papers which Paul, emeritus professor of the university, produced from 1988 until his death in 2014.
It has been co-edited by Rachel Moriarty in his memory and is available at £15 from St Olave’s book shop in North Street, Chichester.
Paul taught for many years at what became the West Sussex Institute for Higher Education, formerly Bishop Otter College and now home to the University of Chichester.
As Rachel explains: “Paul edited these Otter Memorial papers and I came in to do a bit of digging around and help him with the later ones. This one started in 2012 and was called The Chapels of Chichester Cathedral. He got Michael Gudgeon to write the historical framework and then he invited a number of people to fill in comments and little articles on the individual chapels.
“Paul’s instruction was that they were to write about what they saw. The idea was that it was to be a response to what they could see. It wasn’t about the saint or whatever, but their personal reaction, and with this in mind, Paul got together an incredibly diverse collection of people who would write for the volume.
“Paul passed away in 2014. We had most of the articles written by 2013, but at that point Paul suffered a stroke which was devastating, and which also meant that people could not get into his computer. I don’t know how many people tried. Sadly Paul could not speak.
“So the first thing I did was write around to everybody that had contributed and asked them to send in another copy. And they all did. Fairly soon we had accumulated and reactivated the whole book, but there were little questions still to be resolved.
“Paul had a very clear view of the way round the journey should be, and it was a rather counter-intuitive route really. In the end we decided we had to do it the other way round, the more obvious way so the book is not absolutely as Paul had wanted, but it did mean that we were able to reactivate what he had planned.
“I am extremely grateful to everyone who has been part of it all, contributors, university colleagues, printers and friends, and the Cathedral Friends, without whose patience and hard work this would never have reached completion.”
The volume was funded by the Friends of Chichester Cathedral. Profits from sales will go back to the Friends.
Contributors include Tessa Kelly, Alan Readman, Geoffrey Cox, Ken Green, Colin Clark, Sarah Quail, John Hind and Tessa Murdoch. Chapters include the Baptistry, The Chapel of St George, The Chapel of St Clement, The Shrine of St Richard, The Lady Chapel, The Chapel of St John the Baptist and The Chapel of St Thomas and St Edmund. The volume opens with a tribute to Paul by John Wyatt who also contributes a chapter.