Added on 26/11/2013
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Máirtin Ó Muilleoir, today (26 November 2013) signed the C.S. Lewis ‘Chapter One’ book which is on display at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. Belfast Cathedral is marking the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis by providing a special book allowing members of the public to inscribe their reflections on the impact of Lewis’ work on them.
C.S. Lewis has lasting links with St Anne’s Cathedral as his uncle Sir William Ewart and several of the Ewart family are commemorated in the Cathedral. Cathedral Librarian Paul Gilmore (pictured right with the Lord Mayor and the Very Revd John Mann, Dean of Belfast, at St Anne’s) explained: ‘George Herbert Ewart was a linen manufacturer and member of the Board of the Cathedral from 1903 until his death in 1924. His widow and children had the Pillar of Industry carved in his memory in 1927. James Mathewson Ewart, the fourth son of Sir William Ewart and Lady Isabella Ewart, was born in Belfast in 1854 and died in New York in 1898. A reredos carved by Rosamund Praeger, “As the Shadow of a Great Rock in a Weary Land”, now stands in the Ambulatory as a memorial to him.’
But Paul stressed this event is about Lewis in his own right, as a storyteller, scholar and Christian apologist. ‘We have chosen to commemorate Lewis in a large leather bound book which has been specially made for the occasion,’ Paul said.
‘We have called it C S Lewis’ Chapter One because Lewis saw death as beginning “Chapter One of that great story” and this fits with the theme of this event because it is not simply about remembering someone who died the same day as JFK and Aldous Huxley. It is about celebrating his enduring legacy and that is why people are invited to contribute a line or an essay, a comment or a quotation, which captures for them how Lewis’ legacy has enriched their lives and fed their imagination.’
The book has been crafted to resemble a leather bound book referred to in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. (’…a whole series of rooms that led into each other and were lined with books – most of them very old books and some bigger than a Bible in a church’).
Paul said that all ages are welcome to come and write in the book ‘because all ages read Lewis’. The book will now be available to sign for a year and people are encouraged to read a C.S. Lewis work during the year and write their responses.
Photos: Paul Harron/Church of Ireland Press Office
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