Hussey Memorial Commission

Further to the updates below, the CFCE refused Chapter's second, re-worked, application to commission the Together sculpture.  The Cathedral Chapter were very disappointed to learn of this final decision.

Update 6 December 2012


CFCE call in re-worked application

The Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) have exercised their right to call in the application for the installation of Jaume Plensa’s sculpture Together (originally made to the Cathedral‘s independent Fabric Advisory Committee). Notice of an application to the CFCE has therefore been placed on Cathedral noticeboards and copies of the application may be reviewed at the Information Desk, the Cathedral Office (Reception) and the Communar’s office. This application will be considered in January, and members of the Cathedral community and wider public may write to the CFCE up until Thursday 27 December 2012


Update 22nd October 2012


Chichester Cathedral Submit Reworked Application for Together Sculpture

A statement from the Cathedral Chapter: 

“Following the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) decision relating to our previous application, Chapter has (after months of careful deliberation) decided to accept the advice of its Fabric Advisory Committee (FAC) ‘to re-work the application to reflect the grounds for rejection’.  This decision follows a well attended meeting of the cathedral community at which the FAC advice was explained, and close scrutiny of the more than seventy letters subsequently received. A clear majority of the letters were in favour of submitting a reworked application, including the private donor who is ready to fund the commission should permission be given. 

Since that meeting the CFCE have issued a Policy and Practice Note on ‘New Art in Cathedrals’ (May 2012).  This states that where a proposed artwork will involve no permanent alteration of the fabric (as in this case) ‘an application for its approval would usually be made to the FAC’ (although the CFCE reserves the right to ‘call-in’ the proposal).   A formal notice of an application to the FAC has therefore has been posted on Cathedral noticeboards.  Copies of the application may be reviewed at the Information Desk, the Cathedral Office (Reception) and the Communar’s Office.  Members of the Cathedral community, and wider public, are welcome to write to the FAC (via the Communar, who is FAC secretary) to express their views, whether for or against, by Wednesday 14 November – but are urged to read the application first.  It contains a wealth of material, including a substantial section on ‘architectural character and the introduction of sculpture’, Chapter’s Arts Policy, and a recent supportive letter from the preacher at this year’s Southern Cathedral’s Festival Eucharist, Ben Quash (Professor of Christianity and the Arts, Kings College London)”. 

Update 20th March 2012:


An open meeting took place in the Cathedral on Monday 19th March to discuss the CFCE's refusal of the commission, and to discuss the subsequent advice given to Chapter by its independent Fabric Advisory Committee (FAC).  To read the FAC's advice to Chapter please click here.

Members of the Cathedral community - and wider public - are invited to give their opinion on the FAC's advice to Chapter, and whilst doing this are welcome to incorporate their view of the commission itself.  Comments will be received until Tuesday 3rd April and can be submitted by email or post to the Dean.

By post: The Dean, The Royal Chantry, Cathedral Cloisters, Chichester, PO19 1PX.  By email:

Update 15th February 2012:


Hussey Commission Public Meeting, Monday 19 March at 6.30pm

The Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) has refused permission for Chapter to commission Jaume Plensa to create his sculpture Together. (Click here to view the correspondence from the CFCE explaining the refusal.)  Following this, the Cathedral's independent Fabric Advisory Committee (FAC) has met and written a letter of advice to Chapter.

Chapter has promised to consult the congregation, and has therefore decided to call a congregational meeting - this meeting is open to all and will be held after Evensong in the Nave.  The FAC's advice to Chapter will be explained at this meeting, together with  the process that has been followed (including the CFCE's reason for refusal) and the possible courses of action open to Chapter.  There will be time for questions and comments to add to those already received since news of the decision was published.  All are welcome and if you plan to come, please consider reading Chapter's 55 page application to the CFCE, which is available by Clicking Here (please note this is a large document and may take a few moments to load). This document is also available at the Information Desk in the Cathedral and the Cathedral Reception located in the Cathedral Cloisters.

Update 9th February 2012:


The Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England has refused permission to commission Jaume Plensa's Together for installation in Chichester Cathedral.  In response to this news, the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral have issued a short statement:

'Chapter was disappointed to learn that the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) has refused permission to commission Jaume Plensa's Together for installation in the Cathedral.  Chapter has sought advice from its Fabric Advisory Committee, and on the basis of that advice is now deciding what action it may wish to take.'

[Each Cathedral has a Fabric Advisory Committee, independent of the Chapter.  From the outset of this project Chapter has relied on the advice of its FAC and the Cathedral Surveyor.]


Announcement of Selected Artist:
Together, by Jaume Plensa

Cathedral Nave

(Image: The current Cathedral Nave, without Together sculpture) 

The Chapter of Chichester Cathedral is delighted to announce that a sculpture, Together, by the artist Jaume Plensa has been selected for the highly prestigious Hussey Memorial Commission.  The new sculpture will be suspended in the central aerial space within the Cathedral.  The form of the sculpture is the hand of the resurrected Christ, raised in the sign of blessing.  A 'cloud' of letters form the hand, maintaining transparency and enabling the viewer to see directly through the sculpture.  The letters composing the hand are derived from eight alphabets: Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Arabic, Hindi, Japanese, and Chinese.

Chichester Cathedral has an international reputation as a bold patron of contemporary art within an ancient setting; this artwork will revitalise that tradition.  The commission was launched in 2009, and was timed to mark the centenary of Walter Hussey (1909 - 1985) who was Dean of Chichester from 1955 to 1977.  Referred to by the art historian Kenneth Clark as 'the last great patron of the art in the Church of England', Hussey commissioned many of the 20th century artworks for which the Cathedral is now famous, including a stained glass window by Marc Chagall and a high altar tapestry by John Piper.  In addition to regular worshippers, some 200,000 people visit the Cathedral each year and are able to see these and other works free of charge.  Funding for the commission will be sought from private trusts and donors.  An exhibition explaining the commission, and showing images of Plensa's proposal, is currently on display in the Cathedral.  Entry is free and all are welcome.

Preview of Together sculpture
Full Details of the Commission
Jaume Plensa's website
'Together' Lecture by Plensa
History of this project
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Please click on the white arrow to view TV coverage of the commission.

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