Letter: St Martin's legacy

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The Independent Culture
Sir: In the shadow of St Martin-in-the-Fields church, what better image to erect on the vacant plinth in Trafalgar Square (letters, 16 December) than that of Martin, born in eastern Europe, died in France, whose feast day in the Christian calendar is 11 November, the day we associate with armistice after ghastly combat?

In youth a soldier, he died a missionary of the gospel of peace, and is famous for having shared his military cloak with a naked beggar. A sculptor could represent in contemporary terms this dramatic act of sharing. Mindful as we are of the need for the rich nations to share with the poor, the need to solve the problem of debt owed by developing nations, the need to tackle inequalities in our national life, and the claims on our charity made daily by individuals in our own cities and towns, a statue of Martin and a beggar could provide an inspiration for us all to carry into the third millennium of the Christian era.

The Rev RICHARD HAYES

St Mary Woolnoth Church

London EC3

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