Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Byzantine Icons of Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral has nine icons on the western screen of the retro-choir, which were painted by Sergei Fyodorof, a distinguished Russian Orthodox iconographer, between the years 1992-96. 

The nine icons comprise a deesis or place of supplication, following Orthodox liturgical custom, that happily reflects important subjects in the original statuary, and includes the patron Saints of the Cathedral. Christ is at the centre, Virgin Mary is on his right, St. John the Baptist is on his left. Then we find the two Archangels Michael and Gabriel, St Peter and Paul and the local Saints, Birinus and Swithun.

Saint Birinus was the first Bishop of Dorchester and the Apostle of the West Saxons. He carries the Gospels and a bishop's staff. He died in 650 AD.

Saint Swithun was Bishop of Winchester and trusted adviser of King Egbert. His shrine was the focal point of the retro-choir until its demolition during the Reformation. St. Swithun holds the Gospels and his right hand extends in fealty towards Christ. He died in 862.

However these are not the only icons in Winchester Cathedral, as shown in a previous post on this blog found here.


  1. Excellent presentation! It shows clearly the honour that Orthodox Icons receive in Western Cathedrals in modern times!

  2. Ευχαριστούμε για την ανάρτηση