Soul Stones created by Stevenage artist Alexis Penn-Carver help man abused by Church of England cleric to get thoughts across to Justin Welby

Soul Stones created by Stevenage artist Alexis Penn-Carver.

Soul Stones created by Stevenage artist Alexis Penn-Carver. - Credit: Archant

A Stevenage artist who specialises in inscribing text on stones has created works for a survivor of historic sexual abuse that may be presented to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Stevenage artist Alexis Penn-Carver, who created the Soul Stones.

Stevenage artist Alexis Penn-Carver, who created the Soul Stones. - Credit: Archant

The Soul Stones created by Alexis Penn-Carver – respectively inscribed with the words Sea of Forgetting and Sea of Complicity – were commissioned by a man who was sexually abused as a 15-year-old by an Anglican cleric in 1976.

They are intended as a message to today’s archbishop Justin Welby, who himself came in for criticism in an independent report on the church’s handling of the case, published earlier this month – it was reported that the survivor had repeatedly attempted to bring his case to the archbishop’s attention during 2015, but received no meaningful response.

The Church of England formally apologised in October and paid the survivor £35,000 in compensation, stating ‘the abuse reported is a matter of deep shame and regret’.

It will now require clergymen to record all reports of abuse and take action.


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Pictures of Alexis’s stones in the hands of the abuse survivor have been published in the Guardian newspaper. Alexis – pictured above with examples of her other work – understands that they will eventually be given to the archbishop to help influence how the church responds to such cases in future.

“I am often asked to create pieces with metaphors for deeply held beliefs or powerful experiences,” she said.

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“I am glad to have helped in this way, and I hope the stones play a small part in helping to change things for many hundreds of lives.

“It’s exciting when someone approaches me with an idea out of the ordinary.”

Examples of Alexis’ work can be seen at Art Van Go in Knebworth and in the Walkern Gallery. For more see soulstones.co.uk.

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