Ascension, the new sculpture and window honouring the Special Air Service Regiment, was dedicated by the Bishop of Hereford, The Right Reverend Richard Frith, on 17 October at a service attended by HRH The Duke of Cambridge. Many of those who designed and created the memorial were present in the 600-strong congregation, along with those who supported its installation. The service was part of the Regiment’s celebration of its formation in 1941.

Ascension, which took almost three years from conception to installation, was designed and created by John Maine RA, with Derix Glass Studios of Frankfurt, working with building contractors Treasure & Sons of Ludlow, stonemason Simon Hudson, who is based at the cathedral, and many other contractors.

The installation was funded by gifts through the SAS Regimental Association and Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust.

Commenting on the Service of Dedication, the Dean of Hereford, The Very Reverend Michael Tavinor, said:

‘We were pleased to welcome HRH The Duke of Cambridge to the cathedral this morning as we dedicated this very special work of art. Ascension has been placed in this cathedral church because Hereford is the home of the Special Air Service, and the people of this city and county are proud of their association with it. In stone and glass, John Maine has created an arresting and peaceful place for visitors and pilgrims alike, where thoughts and prayers for Special Forces can be offered, encouragement can be found, and hope can be inspired.

In this act of dedication, we brought before God the story of a distinguished regiment, its past, its present and its future, and commended to our heavenly father the people whose names and deeds we may not know, but whose involvement in the SAS has made a significant difference to international security and to the task of building a better society for generations to come.’

The Dean also said:

‘We hope that many more visitors will come to see Ascension for themselves over the forthcoming weeks and months and will enjoy spending time in our beautiful cathedral and discovering its treasures.’

The Bishop of Hereford said: ‘Hereford is proud of the role the Regiment plays in protecting people and bringing peace around the world.

‘The nature of the work often means it must remain secret, but this does not mean we should not pay tribute to the vital contribution the SAS makes to national and international security.

I hope this window will offer a focal point for reflection and an enduring visible reminder of the dedication and commitment of Special Air Service personnel both past and present.’