From the Guardian:
A statue of the crucifixion has been taken down from its perch on a church in Sussex because it was scaring local children and deterring worshippers, a vicar admitted today.
The Rev Ewen Souter, the vicar at St John’s Church in Horsham, West Sussex, ordered the removal of the 10-foot sculpture of Jesus on the cross just before Christmas, branding it “unsuitable” and “a horrifying depiction of pain and suffering”.
Souter, who has been vicar at St John’s since 2001, believes the modern new cross – designed by artist Angela Godfrey – will present “a positive message of hope” on the side of his church.
“We’re all about hope, encouragement and the joy of the Christian faith. We want to communicate good news, not bad news, so we need a more uplifting and inspiring symbol than execution on a cross.”
“It wasn’t a suitable image for the outside of a church wanting to welcome worshippers. In fact, it was a real put-off.
Souter, formerly a cell biologist, said: “The crucifix expressed suffering, torment, pain and anguish. It was a scary image, particularly for children. Parents didn’t want to walk past it with their kids, because they found it so horrifying.