We are well and truly into Lent now, with Mothering Sunday this weekend, and I have been working on the Paschal candles.

There are two this year; for St Laurence and St Margaret. The themes are very different; St Laurence wants 20th century saints, so is decorated with Martin Luther King, Edith Stein, Archbishop Luwum, Mother Teresa, John XXXIII and Manche Masemola. As usual both feature the Cuthbert Cross, in honour of St Cuthbert, patron saint of Durham and all who come from Durham; a very special saint.

St Margaret by contrast prefers desert fathers and mothers, and so far has Abba Anthony and Amma Syncletia; I really must work on the reverse in the next few days.

The Paschal Candle itself represents the presence of Christ in the church, and is brought into church either at the Easter vigil or Easter Day. My little saints don’t change that representation; it does not become representative of them. But the saints are in Christ, as indeed we all are. In past years I have represented all of us in a grape vine, but so far this year there are no grape vines; I was not sure I would have time.

Here are the candles during gilding, together with some 24 carat gold leaf.

Today is beautifully sunny, with clear blue skies. A perfect day for painting candles.

As is usual, there are 18 started but unfinished icons beside my table, waiting for the candles to be finished. I seem to be very good at starting, but not so good at finishing.

These are some new Divine Comedy pictures, so far unfinished.


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