Letter: Forgiveness for a hanging man

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The Independent Online
Sir: May I comment on your correspondent's account of the engraved glass panel which I offered as a present to Moreton church ('Villagers give cold shoulder to Judas', 21 June)? It was not rejected: the PCC and Diocesan Advisory Committee both approved, but I persuaded those in favour to withdraw it because there was strong opposition locally. This was no surprise, and certainly not a 'shattering blow']

The glass is now in Dorset County Museum, Dorchester and will remain on permanent offer to the church. The message is not horror, but a last-second plea for forgiveness, symbolised by the 30 pieces of silver falling out of Judas's hand and turning into flowers. I would not have proposed this theme for an actual window, even if I had not already engraved all 12. It was for the 13th (significantly), a blind one, only visible outside.

Hanging is horrible - how much worse to dwell on a punishment that was inflicted throughout the Roman Empire] It caused not three minutes of strangulation but three hours of agony, and was called crucifixion.

Yours faithfully,

LAURENCE WHISTLER

Watlington, Oxfordshire

29 June

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