The retrochoir contains modern glass and sculpture by Helen Whittaker who was commissioned by the Friends of Beverley Minster in 2004.
Helen Whittaker writes:
Geometry is at the heart of all the designs for this scheme and it functions at a practical level as the unifying theme for the work as a whole, as well as also being the symbolic medium for the messages of faith and love: the tenets on which all pilgrimages are based.
The two life-sized sculptured figures formed in copper have three triangular stained-glass hearts within them. The hearts function as a crucial link between the figures and the window, as within every pilgrim is the knowledge of the love of God in the form of the Trinity. The heart theme continues within the window itself since here the glass triangles create a path and guide the pilgrims’ journey. Similarly, the viewer’s gaze is invited to follow the spiral pattern formed in the window towards its centre.
The seating and the prayer stands, which are comprised of arcs, guide the viewer to the candle stand, new window and sculpture, where the triangular motif is continued.
The drawing of all geometric patterns, no matter how complex, must begin with the point of a compass. The design for this scheme uses a compass point to represent God the creator, the starting point for all our journeys and, as with all geometric forms, it is impossible to tell the beginning from the end.
Similarly the scheme reflects the intricate pattern of the two-way relationship between the pilgrim and God. The copper figures, with their upward projection, point to the window with its message of light. The viewer relates the message of light back to the figures which have their hearts full of the light which is the love of God.