A CHURCH in the West Midlands has unveiled what is believed to be the first British portrait of Pope Benedict XVI.
The painting has been hung in the sacristy of St Peter and St Paul, Wolverhampton. Parish workers and helpers greeted it with great enthusiasm when it was revealed on July 22, at a summer party. The parish priest, Fr Patrick Daly, said that he and the parish were “very proud” to have the portrait.
Fr Daly commissioned local artist Adam Birch, aged 28, to paint the Pontiff. Mr Birch is a Fine Arts graduate of Wolverhampton University, where Fr Daly is chaplain. The painting forms a trio of art works in the church sacristy, joining two acclaimed sepia portraits, also created by Mr Birch, of the late Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham.