St Mary's Church, Beverley

making disciples

Narnia carvings

Alamy | Image from the 2005 film ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ directed by Andrew Adamson, featuring Georgie Henley as Lucy.

In 2020, as part of the restoration of the north nave clerestory, 14 new carvings of characters from The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis were made especially for St Mary’s.

These new carvings were made with kind permission from The CS Lewis Company Ltd by stone carvers at the local firm of Matthias Garn Master Mason & Partner, based on designs by one of its sculptors, Kibby Schaefer. Before being installed high up on the exterior of the church, the carvings were exhibited at ground level in Beverley, so that people had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see them up close.

The finished carving of Farsight the Eagle arrives at St Mary’s on 6th October 2020. The scroll in his beak reads “All worlds draw to an end”.

See the carvings face to face

Photo galleries of the stone carvings before, during and after being fixed to the north nave clerestory.

Aslan the Lion

The large carvings

Click the image above to see the six large carvings, high up at the foot of the pinnacles.

Trufflehunter the Badger

The label stops

Click the image above to see the eight smaller carvings – ‘label stops’, which are at the end of hood moulding around the window arches.

PA Images | Photograph by Danny Lawson | The Bishop of Hull, Alison White, blesses a statue of Aslan, a character from the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis, at St Mary’s Church in Beverley, East Yorkshire.

Carvings blessed by the Bishop of Hull

On 17th August 2020, all fourteen of the carvings were blessed by the Bishop of Hull in the presence of the stonemasons who created them and who are restoring the church’s stonework. Bishop Alison described the ceremony as “one of the most joyful things that I have been invited to do as a bishop”. It was the last chance to bless the carvings before they are fixed high up on the church’s walls in the coming weeks.

Watch video

Click the image above to watch the short video of the blessing.

See media coverage

Click the image above to see national media coverage of the blessing.

PA Images | Photograph by Danny Lawson | Carver Kibby Schaefer works on a plaster model of Aslan at Wolds Workshop in Full Sutton in Yorkshire.

Summer exhibition of carvings

The carvings were displayed over the summer of 2020 (from 18th July to 10th September) in the windows of Streamers, an empty shop unit, at 43 North Bar Within HU17 8DG, just opposite church. The display was changed every fortnight.

Lots of people took part in our holiday activity to spot all of the carvings displayed. All those who completed the summer-long challenge received a St Mary’s pin badge. The correct entries were entered into a draw, and one lucky quizzer won the prize – a hard back box set of all 7 books in the Narnia series.

A number of the children who took part in the activity were inspired to make their own artwork which we’re delighted to display below.

The box set of books won by one lucky participant in our summer challenge

Children’s artwork inspired by the carvings

Click on the image above or the button below to see the artwork submitted by children in response to the summer display.

The St Mary’s pin badge received by all participants in our summer challenge

The Narnia display in photos

Click on the image above or the button below to see photos telling the story of how we brought an unused shop to life in the summer of 2020.

All about the project and Narnia

Introducing the characters

See the sketches, clay models and plaster casts made in 2019 and 2020 to prepare for the stone carving, with words about each character by Kibby Schaefer (pictured above in the workshop).

The story of the carvings

Read our press release of June 2020 all about the project and how it came into being, including the inside story from our vicar, Rev’d Becky Lumley.

More

Books, music, and films to inspire you on your journey through Narnia including links to the official website and the Facebook page of The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis.

A map of the elevation

Click the image above to see an architect’s drawing of the north nave clerestory, marked to show where each of the carvings is placed.

Open the door and enter a new world

A project supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Our local authority, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, is strategic partner on the project.

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