Tavistock vicar declares amnesty on Jesus
By PGStrange | Friday, January 25, 2013, 12:13
A TAVISTOCK vicar has declared an amnesty on Jesus. He's appealed for a figure of the baby Jesus to be returned after it was taken from the crib scene of the town centre parish church, two days after Christmas. And there's an amnesty on Jesus - no questions asked - until Sunday 3 February...
The baby Jesus figure was taken from St Eustachius’ parish church on Thursday 27 December. If the figure is not returned by Sunday 3 February, the church says it will have to notify the police. Photo: © Delia Pemberton
The crib scene at St Eustachius' parish church was set up on Christmas Eve. It's traditionally on display for 40 days "as a focus and reminder of the Christmas season". The figure of the baby Jesus appears to have been taken in the early evening of Thursday 27 December, when two men and a woman were seen leaving the church.
"It's a large crib set, much loved by people in the town," said the priest-in-charge, the Reverend Michael Brierley. "Parishioners and visitors, including families with children, come into the church to see it, but are now wondering where the baby Jesus has gone. It's possible that it's been hidden within the church, but we've searched high and low for it, and it's nowhere to be seen.
"My hope is that someone has removed it for a bit of a joke, and that having had the company of Jesus at home for a while, they will now appreciate that they need to put him back."
Amnesty on Jesus
The Reverend Brierley hopes that the figure will be returned soon.
"The church is open at any time during the day for them to do so, or if they are worried that they would be spotted, they are very welcome just to leave the baby Jesus in the vicarage porch - an amnesty on Jesus, no questions asked. If it's not returned by 3 February, sadly we will have to report the incident to the police."
If the baby Jesus fails to re-appear, a new crib figure may have to be created.
"A kind parishioner has offered to pay for the making of a new figure," said the Reverend Brierley, "but obvioulsy it will take some work to see if we have a photo of the old one, and to investigate how and where it could be reproduced as closely as possible."