FROM THE ARCHIVES – One man’s dream for a church roof -The Universe, 1990


Today’s ‘from the archives’ newspaper report comes from ‘The Universe’ on Sunday October 28th 1990. This article reported upon the painting of ‘The Sistine Chapel Reproduction’ which was half way across the ceiling of English Martyrs Catholic Church in Goring, Worthing, West Sussex, England.

Here is the report in full:

One man’s dream for a church roof.

THERE is something of a modern day miracle unfolding in a little church buried deep in the heart of Sussex. In the English Martyrs Catholic Church in Goring, near Worthing, a local signwriter is recreating the frescos painted by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. And the work of Gary Bevans is stunningly close to the original: the nine great themes of Michelangelo, from the Creation, through the Fall of Man and the Sinfulness of Man leading up to The Redemption, a labour of love he has been engaged upon for more than two years, with another two to go.

Michelangelo used oils – 36-year-old Gary, married to Theresa, (they have two children, Emily, aged 14, and Bernadette, 10), applies his art with water based acrylic paint. But why? What inspired him to give up his own time, for nothing, to such a task?

It came to him after seeing the Sistine Chapel and returning home. “I was looking at the church here,” he told me, as he clambered from his 30ft scaffolding, “and saw that the actual shape and size of the building here is virtually of the same proportions; then I began to think about it seriously…it took about three or four weeks after that to make a scale drawing to fit because although the vault of the ceiling is the same (44ft) it is not quite as long.”

And then, after getting permission of the bishop and the priest, Fr Enda Naughton, he started. He paints on 6mm plywood panels because the ceiling is not good enough to brush on direct – and hit upon the idea of parishioners sponsoring each panel at £50 a time to pay for the materials. Gary said: “I have a great devotion to God, to my Faith, and it is something I wanted to give back to God. I regard this ability to paint as a gift from God.”

“My wife is very supportive. Without her letting me come up here all these hours it would have been impossible.”

 For more information about the Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction, for art cards, prints and original artwork by the artist, Gary Bevans, visit:

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Now available – high quality art cards – Sistine Chapel Preliminary sketches

Now available in a selection of high quality greeting cards, blank inside, complete with envelope and individually cellophane wrapped: Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction Preliminary Sketches and a selection of original wildlife, landscape and Iconography paintings by artist Gary Bevans.

Preliminary Sketches were created as studies and references by artist Gary Bevans as he painted the Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction in West Sussex between the years 1987-1993. Stunning pencil and parchment drawings, these card images are taken directly from the artist’s original Preliminary Sketches. The Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction in England remains the world’s only full-scale replica of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling in Rome. Single-handedly planned, designed and painted in acrylic by a Sussex sign writer and Catholic parishioner, the Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction draws many thousands of visitors each year. With a selection of postcards available in the church repository, Gary has now made available these original high quality cards of his Preliminary Sketches with additional examples of his landscape, Continue reading

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FROM THE ARCHIVES – The Agony and the Ecstasy II – an article in Time Magazine 1989


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Occasionally we will be posting interesting articles and information from ‘The Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction’ archives. Today’s item from the archives is an article that appeared in Time Magazine in 1989 when news of Gary’s art project began to spread around the globe. Gary was surprised to receive a copy of Time magazine in which this small article appeared – the article reads:

‘Overwhelmed by the beauty of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, Gary Bevans picked up his brushes, set up scaffolding and began copying the masterpiece onto the ceiling of his humble parish church in West Sussex. Fortunately, says Bevans, the English Martyrs church has the same width as the Sistine. “Everything fits so far.” Between making his living painting signs and truck panels, Bevans, who has never had an art lesson, expects to finish the reproduction in two years. In any case, the devout Roman Catholic has rediscovered Michelangelo’s agony. If you drop a brush, says he, “it’s a long way down to pick it up.”

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Preparing a new selection of investment numbered Preliminary prints

A busy week sorting through and preparing a selection of original Preliminary sketches of The Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction to be made available to art collectors and visitors of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction in Worthing, United Kingdom. Preliminary sketches of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction were created by the artist as studies before setting out the final figure, figures or scenes on the ceiling. Mostly sketched between 1987-1993, these unique studies and beautiful pencil Continue reading

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A new website for the artist of the Sistine Chapel Reproduction, UK

Over Christmas and the New Year, a talented team of web designers have been busy updating ‘The Sistine Chapel Reproduction UK’ website of artist Gary Bevans with many new features, including the ability to purchase several of his original works, prints and cards. To take a look at the website visit

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