Belfast Telegraph

Cathedral's painting of hymn writer to be restored

By Adrian Rutherford

Three historic portraits will be restored after St Columb's Cathedral in Londonderry was awarded funding of more than £6,000.

The grant will be used to restore portraits of the hymn writer Cecil Frances Alexander, her husband Archbishop William Alexander, and Bishop William Higgin.

The Dean of Derry, the Very Reverend Raymond Stewart, welcomed the donation, which comes from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

He said: "It is very appropriate that the restoration is being carried out this year as it is the bicentenary of Mrs Alexander's birth. She was born in Dublin in 1818 and later moved to Strabane when her father was appointed land agent to the Marquis of Abercorn."

In 1848 Mrs Alexander published a slim volume of hymns which made her name renowned throughout the English-speaking world.

This was called Hymns for Little Children and included among others All Things Bright and Beautiful, Once in Royal David's City and There is a Green Hill Far Away.

William Alexander began his ministry as a curate in Derry Cathedral. In 1867 he was enthroned as Bishop of Derry in succession to Bishop William Higgin.

When the work is completed the portraits will go on display in the Cathedral's Chapter House.

Belfast Telegraph

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