The Virgin Mary Statue by David Wynne

The statue of Virgin Mary in Ely Cathedral by David Wynne

statue sign

david wynne virgin marycharlie dimmock

A recent edition of national newspaper the News of The World carried a small article about this statue by David Wynne which is sited in the Cathedral's Lady Chapel - it stated under a small headline of "Quite contrary over Mary" - "A controversial new statue of the Virgin Mary in Ely Cathedral has failed to grow on visitors. They moan the strawberry blonde Madonna looks like bra-less TV gardener Charlie Dimmock."

OK - so what do you think ? Give us your verdict - e-mail : madonna@ely.org.uk

"For someone who has not grown up in a Catholic environment, the step towards a modern Mary is smaller to make than to one that looks like it comes from the Middle Ages or earlier. I have always found the classical Mary statues and images quite remote, dreary, over-chaste and unreal. I have never been able to understand how they can still generate devotion, either, although I am fascinated by a balance of male and female elements in the Church. I am looking for a small statue of Mary for in my living room, and if a small version of David Wynne's creation existed, it might well be the one I am looking for. Met vriendelijke groeten / with kind greetings. May the Lord bless you and keep you always." -
Jaap Theunisz, Licensed Reader, The Netherlands.

Comment 18th Jan. 2012:

"When I saw it, I found it stunning, and have directed people to it ever since. Leaving aside the blonde hair, I would say that there were unlikely to have been bras in the 1st Century AD, and I understand that the pose adopted is the way men were given to pray in those times. For me, there is a power in this aspect of Mary which we don't think about often enough. This is not "Mother Mary, meek and mild". This is the Mary of the Magnificat, giving thanks and praise to the God of Moses and Elijah." - Steve Mack.

Comment 4th Feb. 2012:

"Seeing the statue of Mary in the Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral has got my year off to an excellent start. I find the image of a strong and vibrant woman an inspiration for myself and all women. It is great to see the church offering a strong, healthy and powerful image for womanhood. A great alternative to the 2 usual interpretations of women in religious art; gentle Mary the mother the Madonna. or dodgy dangerous Mary ( Magdalene) the fallen woman or the female temptress (Eve) - the whore. Thank you David Wynne and those who commissioned this sculpture." - Liz Lewis

Comment 26th Oct. 2012:

"HI...WE THINK YOUR MARY STATUE IN THE LADY CHAPEL IS AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL...IT SPEAKS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN AND NOT OF THEIR SUBJUGATION...PLEASE NEVER CHANGE HER". MR & MRS WILKINSON

Comment 28th Nov. 2012:

"I want to say how inspiring and totally moving the beautiful statue is of Mary in the Lady's chapel. Myself & my husband saw it for the 1st time during a private memorial we were having for my mum who recently died. I cannot express how totally appropriate that image was to both the day we were having as well as to me personally. My mum taught me to always be a strong feminine woman and I am now passing this message onto my twin daughters. This image of Mary is such a positive message to all women with its power, strength and femininity. Absolutely beautiful!" - Rachel Pernak-Brennon

Comment 22nd Dec. 2012:

"This representation is the most wonderful one I have ever seen, it captures the young girl beautifully and has changed my view of Mary from a woman who was perhaps abused, really having little or no choice in the matter to a young woman joyfully embracing the task to which she has been called.
Magnificent!
" - Beryl Cowling

Comment 22nd Aug. 2013:

"Hello, I feel really rather shocked to see the vacuous comment on your webpage about the Mary statue "by David Wynne which is sited in the Cathedral's Lady Chapel - it stated under a small headline of "Quite contrary over Mary" - "A controversial new statue of the Virgin Mary in Ely Cathedral has failed to grow on visitors. They moan the strawberry blonde Madonna looks like bra-less TV gardener Charlie Dimmock.""

I am even more shocked and disappointed that you have printed it! For 'Heaven's' sake people, get your heads out of your bottoms and enjoy the deliciousness of a Lusty Woman of the Fens..... I feel it is a beautiful piece portraying the strength of the Divine Feminine....Charlie Dimmock? The Lady Mary of the Fen, she is not!" - Felicity Cook

Comment 29th Aug. 2013:

"You have erected a statue to please the feminists and further desecrated the Lady Chapel - proving that Protestants have never understood the Blessed Virgin Mary." - Sidney Lucy

Comment 1st Nov. 2013:

"A beautiful and very refreshing depiction of the Virgin Mary. Sad that Sidney Lucy’s remark has stayed on the website. I find it quite offensive “proving that Protestants have never understood the Blessed Virgin Mary” and is contrary to the Equality Act 2010. I feel it should be taken off." - Leigh Griffiths

Editor's Note: In view of Leigh Griffith's remark about the Equality Act I decided to check into the Act and in my view it seems to refer to government bodies, employers etc. I therefore thought the other ancient tradition of "free speech" should take priority here. What do you think? Contact us here.

Comment 11th Jan. 2014:

"Pleased that you didn't bow to pressure to remove negative comments. On my first visit to Ely Cathedral, I was appalled and really very upset by the statue. If you intended to portray a "lusty woman of the fens", fine, but please don't call it the Virgin Mary. Our Lady is the perfect model of humility and modesty - qualities which sadly are not promoted among young British women today." - Irene Mac


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