Archbishop Stephen Cottrell attends portrait presentation at Chelmsford Cathedral

30 April 2023

The Archbishop of York and former Bishop of Chelmsford, the Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell has attended the presentation of his portrait during Evensong at Chelmsford Cathedral today

Archbishop Stephen was Bishop of Chelmsford between 2010 and 2020 when he became Archbishop of York. His portrait will now be displayed alongside his predecessors as Bishop of Chelmsford at the Cathedral Chapter House and Diocesan Offices. 

The portrait was painted by British painter John Wonnacott CBE who lives in Leigh on Sea in Essex and has also painted portraits of former Prime Minister, Sir John Major and the Royal Family, for the National Portrait Gallery. 

Speaking about the service and the presentation of his portrait, Archbishop Stephen said:

"Like me, John Wonnacott who painted my portrait, is from Leigh-on-Sea. He has done a great job. Having painted the Royal Family, politicians and other figures in public life, I think I am his first bishop. He has painted me walking, which was such a big part of my ministry here. And three years after leaving, it has been such a pleasure to come back and meet up with old friends and colleagues. I am very grateful to Bishop Guli for her generous invitation.

"Not being able to have a proper goodbye when we left, this has been a great opportunity to thank people for all they meant to us. This is a wonderful diocese. I so enjoyed serving here as Bishop in this fantastic and diverse diocese. Much was achieved. Many challenges persist. And, for anyone who doesn't like having their photo taken, can I just say an official portrait is even more daunting. But it was a real pleasure to return to Chelmsford and see the finished thing." 


Archbishop Stephen looking at the painting


Archbishop Stephen pictured with artist John Wonnacott CBE as his portrait is presented at Chelmsford Cathedral.


The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani said:

“We very much enjoyed welcoming Archbishop Stephen and Rebecca back to Chelmsford for this service. The Coronavirus Pandemic prevented a proper farewell from taking place when Stephen became Archbishop of York in 2020 and I’m pleased that people from across East London and Essex have been able to gather today to give thanks for his ministry with us and to see the presentation of his portrait”.


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