Westminster Church Leaders To Fight 'Homeless Jesus' Statue Snub Near Houses Of Parliament

Blessed: Pope Francis blessed a model of the statue, which has been installed at The Vatican (Methodist Central Hall)
Westminster church leaders have vowed to fight a council's ruling to snub the installation of a life-size Jesus statue near the Houses of Parliament. Clergyman at Methodist Central Hall want to plant a monument, dubbed 'The Homeless Jesus', outside the church in Storey's Gate but permission was refused.

The statue was created by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz and depicts a figure sleeping on a park bench covered in a blanket with his exposed feet bearing the marks of crucifixion.

The artwork, designed to raise the issue of homelessness, gained international fame when it was blessed by Pope Francis and can be seen in The Vatican, Madrid and Washington DC but attempts to bring it to London have been thwarted.

Westminster Council said the area is already saturated with statues with famous figures such as Sir Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi stood in nearby Parliament Square.

Blessed: Pope Francis blessed a model of the statue, which has been installed at The Vatican (Methodist Central Hall)
A Westminster Council spokesman said: "We welcome public art and sculptures in Westminster.

"However, there are traditionally a large number of applications for monuments and memorials in Parliament Square and the surrounding area, and it reached saturation point some years ago when the council introduced a policy of no further statues being allowed in this area. 

"The council feels that in respect of this application an exception is not warranted. The applicants have been advised that the statue needs to be located elsewhere.  "For example, there is no objection whatsoever to the sculpture being located within the Methodist Central Hall itself.”



  - Standard, UK




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