A gift of Hope and pride in a great city.

Thousands turn out to see unveiling of Sheppard-Worlock statue.

shepwar1Thousands of people converged on Hope Street to witness the unveiling of the Liverpool Echo's Sheppard-Worlock statue.

The 15ft bronze memorial was officially unveiled yesterday during a Churches Together Pentecost Walk of Witness between Liverpool 's two cathedrals.

The statue was commissioned in 2005 by the Echo, and paid for by the people of Liverpool , to mark the life and work of Bishop David Sheppard and Archbishop Derek Worlock.

Members of the two men's families, including Derek Worlock's cousin, and Lord Sheppard's widow Grace, his daughter Jenny, grandsons, and sister Mary Maxwell, were at the ceremony.

Lady Sheppard said: "The whole day was awesome and I feel overwhelmed with awe and gratitude. I really love the statue and want to say a big thank you to the Echo and the people who donated towards it, and a massive thank you to the sculptor Stephen Broadbent."

Police closed off Hope Street as the procession wended its way from the Metropolitan Cathedral to the statue, which stands outside the Hope Street Hotel. The sky darkened and the crack of thunder was heard as crowds gathered, but the rain held off until the close of the ceremony.

Echo managing director Sara Wilde paid tribute to everyone involved in the appeal. She said: "I'm delighted to be here on behalf of the Echo to gift this remarkable statue to the city of Liverpool . It's so inspirational and can mean so many things to so many people."

Lord Mayor Paul Clark also took part in the unveiling ceremony. He said: "I've been to some great events in my year as Lord Mayor but this is one of the biggest thrills to be here to honour these two great men. Their friendship and love broke down so many barriers that we'll be eternally grateful to them."

A specially-written liturgy was read by the Bishop of Liverpool , James Jones, Archbishop of Liverpool, Patrick Kelly, and Baptist Minister, Phil Jump, to signify the cooperation between the city's churches exemplified by David Sheppard and Derek Worlock.

Part of it read: For their example of friendship that crossed barriers that should never have existed.

Their example of courage that was willing to challenge those who had become blind to their own responsibility.

Their example of tenacity that did not give up in the face of adversity.

Their example of hope that will long resound through the streets of our city.

The Lord Mayor completed the unveiling by cutting a ceremonial ribbon.


shepwar2Background Information

The Echo launched the £90,000 Sheppard-Worlock Statue Appeal in March 2005, shortly after the death of Lord Sheppard.

Its aim was to create a lasting memorial to the work of the two religious leaders whose presence towered over Liverpool during the dark days of the 1970s and 1980s.

Despite coming from two different churches in a city which, over the years, has seen deep religious divisions, Bishop David and Archbishop Derek together, and working with other religious leaders, were a uniting force.

Sculptor Stephen Broadbent won the commission with his design of two 15ft bronze "doors" decorated with symbols and newspaper headlines from the two men's lives and ministry.

Through the open doors the viewer can see both cathedrals signifying the unity the churchmen, affectionately dubbed "fish and chips" as they were always together and never out of the papers, strove to achieve.

Liverpool council has now accepted the statue as a gift to the city.

Written by Catherine Jones - catherinejones@liverpoolecho.co.uk
Taken from the Liverpool Echo, 12 May 2008.