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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Brampton firm's surprise Carlisle shrine carving to be given away

A Carlisle community waited years for a new Jesus – then two came along at once.

Carlisle shrine carving photo
The figure on the shrine

Related: New Jesus being carved to replace figure stolen from Carlisle shrine

The wooden Christ figure was stolen from the landmark Wayside Shrine, just off the A69 at Wetheral, two years ago.

Last week it was revealed that city artist Wayne van Tilburg is in the process of carving a replacement sculpture that is now nearing completion.

But unbeknown to him, and those in charge of the religious site, a local company had also been secretly making its own figure and planned to donate it as a surprise gesture.

Jon Stynes, of Brampton-based JSD Signs, only found out he had been pipped to the post when he read about it in The Cumberland News.

As a result he is now offering his figure free to a good home, such as a local school, church or community group.

“I don’t really know why I decided to make it. I’m not really a church-going person but I was brought up out Heads Nook way and always saw it as we drove past. I just thought it would be nice to give something back to the community,” said Mr Stynes, who luckily can see the funny side of the situation.

“It’s such a coincidence. Ours is nearly finished and we were going to surprise them. What are the chances of that?

“I don’t want to take anything away from this other chap – I just want to find a good home for our carving and obviously we would like it to go to someone that would really appreciate it. Somewhere local where it will be of benefit.”

The Wayside Shrine, which stands on the main Carlisle to Brampton road at the Wetheral Plains junction, was first put up in 1956 by the Carlisle group of the Catholic action society, the Cell Movement.

Almost two years ago, it was vandalised and Christ’s figure stolen – leaving just his feet.

Neil Hickey, of the Knights of St Columba, which looks after and maintains the site, said they had no idea that another figure was secretly being carved. However, he said he was incredibly touched that Mr Stynes had thought of them.

Anyone who is interested in Mr Stynes’ Jesus figure, which has taken about 60 or 70 hours to complete, can contact him on 016977 42333.

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