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An exciting project in Cirencester is coming closer to fruition. Project Black Jack is the name of the project which aims to restore two statues to the Parish Church Tower.
Rodney Munday, an artist with an international reputation, won a national competition to create the designs for two statues. These designs were submitted to the Diocese of Gloucester which has approved them. Both statues will be cast in bronze and patinated. Mr Munday has produced two bronze resin maquettes which can be seen in the Trinity Chapel of Cirencester Parish church. Canon Graham Morris, vicar of Cirencester said, “I am so excited by this project seeing the maquettes is wonderful. In coming months, we want to focus on community involvement as Black Jack was an iconic image for Cirencester and these statues really show how we can link church and community in the 21st century and beyond”
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Notes on the designs
“Black Jack” (St John the Baptist) is depicted presenting a lamb to the world, linking the image to the text “Behold the Lamb of God”. This is particularly apposite as Cirencester Parish Church is one of the Wool churches of the Cotswold and it is hoped that in the final statue the lamb will be based on a Cotswold Lion, the breed that brought wool production to the Cotswolds
The Virgin and Child is unusual in that the child is not a baby cradled in his mother’s arms, but is a depicted as a curious child leaning out to engage with the world below (i.e. Cirencester Market Place). The image is one which is timeless; of a mother lovingly both protecting her child and letting him explore a world with a sense of adventure and of the unknown.
The Diocese commented that the statues broke from the artistic convention of still and motionless figures traditionally associated with church statuary but communicate the Christian message in a contemporary manner