An official portrait of the Bishop of Worcester has been unveiled at the Old Palace in Worcester. The portrait of Bishop John was painted in oil by local artist Francesca Currie.

Bishop John's portraitBishop John said: “It’s traditional for bishops to have their portraits painted, but I’ve been putting it off until I found someone to paint it in whom I had complete confidence. I chose Fran after being impressed with her portrait of someone I knew and I’m delighted to be able to support a talented up and coming local artist. Fran has done an excellent job, particularly with such unpromising material!”

Bishop John has been painted sitting on a simple, wooden chair which once belonged to his Grandfather and is pictured in his cassock. He sat for the artist for a three hour session after which the Fran worked with the photographs she had taken.

Worcester-based artist, Francesca Currie is an alumna of the Alice Ottley School and has recently been made an Associate of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.

Francesca CurrieShe said: “It was a real honour when Bishop John asked me to paint his official portrait. Whilst he sat for me, I started to get to know him. Before long is was apparent that he’s a man of great understanding and kindness and he also has a wonderful sense of humour. It was important to me that this came through in the painting. Bishop John brought his grandfather’s chair as a prop, this worked well as it was quite regal in height, suitable of an official portrait. At the same time the chair is made of wood and so the material was very personal and humble, which I believe is reflective of his character and faith. The frame needed to carry elements of the traditional while working with a contemporary piece. I would like to thank Bevere Art Gallery for all their help with this. I am grateful for the privilege of painting Bishop John and am incredibly pleased he is happy with it. I hope that once it is hung in the Old Palace, many others will enjoy the portrait too.”

The Old Palace is the office for both the Diocese and the Bishop of Worcester. All are welcome to come in to visit the portrait. There is a café open for refreshments from 10am – 2pm, serving lunch from midday – 2pm. 


The Diocese of Worcester is one of 42 dioceses in the Church of England. It covers an area of 671 square miles and includes parishes in the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.

From: Sam Setchell, Press Officer for the Diocese of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester.

Tel: 01905 20537 Mobile: 07852 302516