Would someone fund sculpture at Chichester Cathedral?

Your letters to the newspaper
Your letters to the newspaper

You report (The Guide, 31 January) that the life-size resin sculpture of Private Maurice Patten, at present standing in the garden of the Cloisters Café at Chichester Cathedral, is to be removed next month.

The sculptor, Vincent Gray, would like the piece to be cast permanently in bronze, but needs the funds to make this happen.

If it does, one possible location might be Eartham, the soldier’s home village.

I hope very much that its present prominent location won’t be retained, since the rather gloomy sculpture (with head bowed and ‘arms reversed’, and standing on a plinth that reads ‘LEST WE FORGET’ in large capitals) seems more appropriate to a cemetery than a sunny tea garden.

If a statue is needed here, a much more suitable subject would be Chichester’s great Bishop, George Bell (died 1958), whose posthumous identification as a paedophile has now been shown to be incapable of proof.

With the endorsement of Archbishop Justin Welby, a statue is to be completed at Canterbury Cathedral, where Bell served with distinction as Dean before coming to Chichester.

As it happens, the Cloisters Café was previously named in honour of Bell, in 2006 as a plaque just inside its entrance still reveals.

What could better serve the Bishop’s rehabilitation than a commemorative sculpture in the grounds of the cathedral he served so well over nearly 30 years?

Would someone be willing to fund it? If so, could the Dean and Chapter refuse it?

Tim Hudon, Hawthorn Close, Chichester