Unique murals on show for first time in 12 years

Murals in St Elisabeth's Church. SUS-141206-173813001
Murals in St Elisabeth's Church. SUS-141206-173813001

Unique murals painted on the walls of the Lower Chapel of St. Elisabeth’s church in Victoria Drive were recently on view to the public for the first time in 12 years.

The large room was opened up during the church’s summer fair so visitors could see the work of Hans Feibusch, a talented artist and sculptor.

Feibusch, who was a German Jew forced to flee his homeland to escape the Third Reich, came to England in the 1930s and in the 1940s, was granted British citizenship.

Converting to Christianity, he was befriended by Anglican Bishop Bell of Chichester and through his influence, he received a commission in 1944 to paint the 130 feet long St. Elisabeth murals.

Here, he has departed from any deep religious theme and depicted, in life sized figures, the trials of Christian and his wife Christiana in ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ as they make their way to the Celestial City. The work was produced as a thanksgiving for the kindness given to him, a Jewish refugee from Hitler, by British people.

Helping Feibusch to produce this extensive work by painting the background colours, were four young people - three from the congregation and Kenneth Adams, a student from the College of Art.

These rare and unusual murals have an uncertain future as this church building, although Grade II Listed, has been declared unsafe and may have to be demolished.

For information, visit www.sainte.co.uk.