Aylesford Friary

Aylesford Friary opens the Edith Stein Centre

At Aylesford Friary in Kent the recently restored North Barn has become the Edith Stein Centre.
The Archbishop of southwark the Rt Rev Kevin McDonald led the blessing and dedication ceremony unveiling a two-thirds life size figure of Edith Stein carved in wood by artist, Geoff Lucas.The restoration of the barn is a major achievement for the friars completing a programme of work which began with the restoration of the 13th Century Pilgrim Hall which was in danger of falling into the River Medway, and major repairs to the 17th Century Gatehouse. Until recently the barn, a rare 17th Century wooden building was in a poor state of repair. It will now form a new facility for pilgrims

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Edith Stein Sculpture
Seated with one finger keeping her place in the book on her lap, Geoff Lucas' carving depicts this profound thinker on philosophical and religious matters, who was canonised by Pope John Paul II, with eyes closed, caught perhaps in contemplation of what she has just read.
Stein converted to Catholicism in 1922 after many years spent in search of a spiritual truth she felt adrift from. She studied and taught philosophy,becoming assistant to Edmund Husserl, the father of phenomenology
In1932 she joined the Carmelite cloister in Cologne, then in 1938, to escape the Nazi persecution of the Jews,she moved tothe community in Echt, Netherlands. There she was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942, taken to Auschwitz, and killed in the gas chambers.

Edith Stein carved in sycamore wood by artist Geoff Lucas

Edith Stein carved in sycamore wood by artist Geoff Lucas

Geoff Lucas
Artist Geoff Lucas shares a studio with his wife, who is a painter, in a church in South -East London. He teaches, and is a practitioner of ,contemporary fine art. He writes: "My work is predominately sculpture ( I studied sculpture at Canterbury ) most often in wood with degrees of carving. Although it takes very different forms, the consistent concern in the work is the approach taken; looking for poetic meaning, and musing on philosophical difficulties encountered in life and in making art ".

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