Centenary Celebrations
The Statue of Christ Ascendant
with Alison Knapp
President of the League of St. Bartholomew's Nurses
25th May 2010


A presentation on the Statue of Christ Ascendant given by churchwarden Peter Green, local historian John Hawkins and retired Chief Nursing Officer Anne Whitney, SRN, SCM on the 7.5 ft high bronze statue which was first dedicated in 1964 and rededicated in its new position high on the west wall last year. To include details about the life and work of the celebrated sculptor Uli Nimptsch RA, and the donor Miss Helen Dey CBE RRC SRN at one time Matron of St. Bartholomew's hospital.

A number of past and present Barts nurses were present including Alison Knapp, SRN, DMS, MSc. the President of the League of St. Bartholomew's Nurses.


  Alison Knapp, President of the Leaugue of St Bartholomews Nurses (left) with speaker Anne Whitney (right)


Welcome -  Fr. Andrew Wadsworth

The Epic Struggle - Peter Green
The seven and half year battle by the determined donor to get her statue approved, two relocations  and continuing controversy over fifty years until the statue was moved to its present position high on the west wall of the church in 2009. 

The Sculptor Uli Nimptsch, RA – John Hawkins
The sculptor recommended by the Royal Academy after several earlier proposals were rejected by the Church Authorities. Nimptsch (1897 – 1977) was a German sculptor who moved to London in 1939 whose commission prior to Christ Ascendant was the statue of Lloyd George in the House of Commons.  

The Donor Helen Dey, CBE, RRC, SRN – Anne Witney
Miss Dey had a distinguished nursing career spanning from 1909 when she became a Probationer Nurse at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, through the First World War when she twice was mentioned in despatches and received the RRC from King George V,  to becoming Matron of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital from 1927 until her retirement in 1949. She was awarded the OBE in 1937 and the CBE in 1946. Miss Dey was born in London and lived in St. John’s Wood; her association with Bognor started when she visited her sister in a Nursing home on the seafront and where she eventually retired to in 1960 living at the Old Coastguard’s hotel. It was soon after her sister’s death in 1956 that she commenced her epic battle to have a statue erected on the east wall of the church. 

Concluding Remarks - Alison Knapp, President of the League of St. Bartholomew's Nurses

 Closing Prayers – Fr. Andrew Wadsworth



Further details

Statue of Christ Ascendant

Miss Helen Dey

Uli Nimptsch     

Dedication Service 7th May 1964



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