FR CHRISTOPHER Delaney OSB celebrated both his Golden Jubilee as a priest and 40 years service in the parish of St Mary of the Angels, Cardiff, in 2007. To celebrate the occasion the parishioners commissioned a portrait of him from Michael Noakes.
The full-size pencil drawing has now been hung in the priest’s house at St Mary of the Angel’s. It is expected that the portrait will be exhibited later this year at the National Portrait Painters Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.
Fr Christopher Delaney and Michael Noakes had been fellow pupils at Downside Abbey and have kept up their friendship over the years.
Last week Fr Delaney said: “I’m thrilled with the portrait. Michael asked to do my portrait when we were schoolboys together and I said no, so it’s taken 50 years. It’s certainly the only time an eminent portrait painter has done my portrait.” Michael Noakes is a distinguished portrait painter who is currently painting portraits of Lady Thatcher and Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds. He is the only painter to have been given time by Pope Benedict for a portrait commissioned by the Vatican.
Mr Noakes was educated at Downside Abbey and the Royal Academy in London. He has worked on a wide range of subjects, including members of the Royal Family as well as foreign dignitaries and personalities from the arts, music, government, finance, academia, the military and religion, scientists, ambassadors, peers, QCs, judges and children and families.
St Mary of the Angels is a large parish in the Canton area of Cardiff. The parish website is www.stmarysrccardiff.org. uk. The parish priest is Mgr John Maguire.