Dedication of the Icon of St Luke
at St Woolos Cathedral Newport
Whilst in Tbilisi, during a visit in May 2007 to Kutaisi, Georgia four members of the Newport Kutaisi Association sourced and purchased on behalf of St Woolos Cathedral a replica icon dedicated to St Luke.
On Sunday 9th December 2007 a service took place in St Woolos Cathedral attended by members of NKA and cathedral parishners of dedication of the Icon of St Luke, one of the four apostles of the New Testament. The service was conducted by Rev. Mark Soady.
Historically St Luke was the name of the church that once stood in Bridge Street, Newport in the parish of St Woolos, the reason for the choice. The cathedral’s St Luke’s chapel, where the icon is now placed, has an east facing window which depicts Jesus’ Presentation in the Temple. This is recorded in St Luke’s Gospel 2.22-
Apart from being the patron saint of physicians and painters St Luke wrote the Gospel According to Luke, much of which was based on the teachings, writings of Paul, interviews with early Christians and his own experiences. Also he wrote a history of the early Church in the Acts of the Apostles.
The Icon was presented to the Very Revd. Dr Richard Fenwick, Dean of St Woolos Cathedral by the Georgian travellers (pictured right: Catherine Phillpott, Colin Mason, Derek Butler, Rosemary Butler AM, Sylvia Mason and Dr Richard Fenwick)
Our appreciation goes to Madona Tkeshelashvili of Kutaisi Newport International Twinning Association who helped greatly in finding the best place in Tbilisi to purchase the icon.
The Origin of St Woolos Cathedral’s icon of St Luke
The cathedral’s icon is a copy of that found in ‘Atenis Sioni’, a 7th century church built on hard rock standing on the banks of the River Tani in Georgia west of Tbilisi.
Nearby lies the village of Atenis about 1.2 km from Gori, a small town on the road to Kutaisi.
The church’s architecture is similar in style to that of Jvari in Mtsketa. See Website
All paintings and frescos date from a later period because in early middle age paintings figures were much stylised and gradually had become less popular. As a result all eastern Christian countries, including Georgia, changed their way of painting. Therefore old churches such as ‘Atenis Sion’ had their old frescoes painted over and by the 16th century the entire church had completely new frescos.
Due to age some of the paintings are very indistinct; others are well preserved and show vividly ahigh degree of sophistication.
The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. On one side of the altar there can be seen the figure of the Virgin with the young Christ child together with the twelve apostles. Clearly depicted is the apostle Simon Peter and Luke the Evangelist – the original image of Newport’s icon.
A selection of priceless Icons from the Museum in Kutaisi