St Stephen’s Reconciliation Reredos

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- The Reredos is more than just a visual memorial inspiring the reconciliation of past injustices. It is also an understanding of who we are, the potential, manifest in spaces that reflect the future of what may, could and can be, what exists whether you see it or not, believe or not: its vastness and brevity is impossible to measure.

St Stephen’s Church is one of the oldest churches located in the Medieval centre of the city where the quayside met at its door and ships were moored nearby. The significance of this 13th Century place of worship as the historical City of Bristol Harbour Church, is St Stephen’s blessed every ship that left the port, including every slaver that left the city harbour for Africa to trade for enslaved people during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The four painted Victorian tin panels above that depict the Lord’s Prayer, Ten Commandments and Six Angels either side of the stone relief of the Lamb of God were corroded and beyond repair. Commissioned as St Stephen’s Artist in Residence, the project included the restorative design and completion of the permanent contemporary East Wall, altarpiece, the Reconciliation Reredos was unveiled January 2011 and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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