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The O'Connell Paintings

The large painting above the altar is the work of David O'Connell, who also designed and painted the stations of the cross and the archangels in the Blessed Sacrament chapel

The rear wall of the sanctuary is panelled in golden sycamore.

The painting portrays Christ Crucified, with a montage of images reminding us that the Holy Mass is the continual re-presentation of Our Lord's sacrifice for our Salvation.

The Sacrament of the Eucharist, with the real presence of Christ in our midst, is the source and summit of our faith as Catholics.

In the words of St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), a contemporary of St Richard, "Most loving Father, grant that I may one day see face to face your beloved Son, whom I now intend to receive under the veil of the sacrament and who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever, one God world without end. Amen.

The Stations of the Cross

These Stations were painted by David O'Connell (1898-1976) and hung in the church in Chichester in the early 1960s.

Father Jonathan Martin, while at St Richard's, wrote this description:

"It has to be said that this particular set of the Stations of the Cross is not everyone's "cup of tea". The style of these paintings is quite different from the style of the Stations that usually adorn the walls of our churches. There is an apparent inaccessibility about that demands a certain amount of time and energy on the part of the onlooker. But time spent lingering over each painting will be repaid.

"The distinctive style of O'Connell's work, the "scored canvas", if you like, powerfully conveys the brutality and violence associated with the last journey of Christ. It peaks at the Crucifixion, and then, as Christ alone hangs on the cross, the freneticism subsides and a kind of exhausted tranquility takes over."

(Taken with permission from The Stations of the Cross a booklet by Fr Jonathan Martin, 1999.)

Jesus is condemned to death

Jesus receives the cross

Jesus falls for the first time

Jesus meets his mother

Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Jesus falls for the second time

Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem

Jesus falls for the third time

Jesus is stripped of his garments

Jesus is nailed to the cross

Jesus dies on the cross

Jesus is laid in his mother's arms

Jesus is laid in the sepulchre

David O'Connell was an artist who instituted the Catenians in Chichester and was their President. He was born in 1895, served in the trenches in World War I, trained as a commercial artist, but his specialism was religious painting. He was appointed Artistic Advisor to St Richard's. He died in 1976.