‘No room at the inn’ was declared at many a Nativity play in the run up to Christmas, but the Planning Executive has decided that the New Year is a time to declare there is no room for Jesus in Westminster!
Methodist Central Hall Westminster wanted to give a home to ‘The Homeless Jesus’, a sculpture depicting Christ as a homeless man on a bench, which was offered to them in 2014 by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz. Methodist Central Hall had their initial application turned down by Westminster City Council in March 2016, and heard on 9 January 2017 that their Appeal has been declined.
Despite statues of Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi found in or around Parliament Square, (all three of whom spoke at Methodist Central Hall during their lifetimes!) sadly, and regretfully, there is no place for a depiction of Jesus in Westminster!
Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, Superintendent of Methodist Central Hall Westminster said, ‘Homelessness is sadly real in London and we felt this depiction of Christ belonged in the heart of London, close to Parliament and power. Despite this disappointing outcome we will, together with others in Westminster, continue to express and champion God’s deep concern for poor and marginalised people, which is expressed movingly in Timothy Schmalz’s ‘Homeless Jesus’.’
Download a Press Pack here
- Methodist Central Hall Westminster is a growing, culturally diverse Christian church at the heart of Westminster with a membership of over 450.
- Sculptures of the Homeless Jesus can be found in Washington, Dublin and Rome and Manchester has recently approved an application.