University of Chichester – Home To The George Bell Institute
The George Bell Institute was founded with the support of the Birmingham-based Barrow Cadbury Trust in September 1996 in honour of George Bell, Bishop of Chichester, 1929–58. An ecumenist and an internationalist, Bell is often remembered as a friend of the oppressed, a patron of writers and artists, a scholar of distinction and as a generous advocate for humanity at large.
The George Bell Institute affirms that the creative and intellectual freedom of the responsible individual is an indispensable foundation of civilization itself. The purpose of the Institute is to search out writers, scholars and artists facing difficulties in any country and to provide the resources they may need to make their voice heard. It seeks to welcome them into an international community of life and thought where their vision will be valued and encouraged.
The Fellows are dedicated to international understanding in many different forms. Their work shows originality and idealistic commitment. When boundaries of so many kinds divide people – of nationality, inequality, specialization or confession — they seek instead to think and work together. This is something that many of them do in the face of considerable obstacles.
Today the George Bell Institute is at the University of Chichester where its Director, Andrew Chandler, is Reader in Modern History in the Department of History. Dr Charlotte Hansen, Sub-Librarian at Chichester Cathedral, works with him to run the Institute, its fellowships, conferences and meetings. A growing number of Fellowships in Eastern and Central Europe are administered from the Krzyzowa Foundation in Poland, with which the Institute has a close working relationship. Most meetings of the Institute now take place at George Bell House in Chichester or at Krzyzowa.
* the image of the Bell plaque is reproduced by permission of the Dean and Chapter of Chichester Cathedral.