A new project will see young Palestinian artists create new religious paintings for Lichfield Cathedral.
The students from the Bethlehem Icon School will take part in residential visits over the next two summers before their completed work goes on display in the Nave.
The new icons will include the Archangel Gabriel and the mother of Jesus.
The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield said: “This is a really exciting and creative project.
“The Bethlehem Icon Centre is training young Palestinian artists in a form of Christian art that first began in the Holy Land. Our commission benefits the centre by providing an important UK venue for its work, but it links us in Lichfield with an unbroken form of Christian art that speaks engagingly and beautifully of the Christian story.
“As a place of pilgrimage and worship, I believe these icons will help all our cathedral visitors to pray and get a glimpse of God’s generous love – his invitation to align our lives with his.
“We also hope that by having the staff and students in Lichfield for the whole summer, local people can get to hear of the struggles people in Bethlehem face but also learn much from the students’ faith and resilience.”
Ian Knowles, director of the Bethlehem Icon School will oversee the work of his students in Lichfield, where visitors will also be able to see them working on the project in the cathedral.
There will also be workshops on iconography, Christian culture and identity in the Middle East as part of the project.
To help raise funds for the new icons, the Friends of Lichfield Cathedral will host a Classy Cast Off Sale on Saturday (April 23), from 10am to 4pm, in College Hall in The Close.