Villagers give cold shoulder to Judas
News that 44 parishioners at St Nicholas in Moreton near Dorchester, Dorset, objected to his work has come as a shattering blow to Laurence Whistler.
After all, the artist - who is 82 - is no stranger to St Nicholas: over the past 25 years, he has designed a dozen of its main windows - which attract some 15,000 visitors a year.
The original windows of this 1776 church, in whose cemetery T E Lawrence is buried, were blown out by a bomb in 1940.
Mr Whistler said: 'This would have been the 13th window, though a blind window, only visible outside. The number 13 in itself suggested Judas, as the 13th disciple.'
He added that the scene was bound to be gruesome: 'Hanging is not a very comely thing.'
He explained that the composition was meant to reflect 'the ancient Christian belief that most people are self- damned - not by God. In my picture of Judas, I show him at the moment of hanging . . . looking at the light . . . seeking at the last moment, forgiveness.' That is symbolised by '30 pieces of silver, the price given for betraying Christ', falling from Judas's hand and turning into flower- heads.
The Rev Peter Stevens, who was among the objectors, spoke of the gruesome way the figure's neck is 'jerked back'. He added that the picture was one of 'suicide and guilt', and out of keeping with the other designs on the theme of light.
There is also the question of dress: some parishioners resent Judas's jeans, jumper and wellingtons.
From the artist's point of view, the news is all the more disappointing as the work was initially approved by the parochial church council.
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Bubonic plague-carrying fleas found on New York City rats
London property boom built on dirty money
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading electro...
£38000 - £44000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manag...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...