The world’s tallest ceramic statue (11.5 metres tall and 6,5 metres wide arms) has now been installed in Cornwall. A statue called the Earth Goddess was put up in the town centre of the Cornish town of St Austell. It has been called “offensive to God” by a group of 7 church leaders who have written to the Town Council asking for it to be removed. Pete Godfrey from the Light and Life Church decided to write the letter which has also been signed by leaders of the local Methodist church and Salvation Army among others. He said he thinks the statue is inappropriate. “Scripturally as Christians, God wants us to be able to do life with him. And one of the things that He says is that we’re to have no other gods but him. That’s the first commandment, and the second is that we’re to have no idols, no craven images of Gods. But I think it’s also not reflective of the community of St Austell.
The statue was designed and created by the artist Sandy Brown who said that she felt “saddened and disappointed” at the reaction, explaining that her work was meant to represent a love of mother earth and not a religious statement. There have been a number of statements that she’s made but she has very clearly made the statement that the ‘earth goddess’ represents our eternal and collective roots with nature and Mother Earth. You may or may not argue that that’s a religious statement, but it’s certainly a spiritual one. “The key point is where it is positioned. If it was in a private place of worship, there would be no issue.”
A statue of an ‘earth goddess’ is offensive to many people within the community and divides instead of unites. This is not something that the vast majority of people are able to celebrate and will actually cause some to feel far less comfortable coming into the town. While it may not be a view that is shared by those who have no faith, our second concern is that the statue is offensive to God. As Christians, we desire for St Austell to thrive. We regularly meet to pray for God’s blessing on the town and specifically for the council and town leaders and for local businesses.”
The letter continued “The choice to erect a statue of an ‘earth goddess’ means that as the leaders of the town you are actually choosing to bring the town under the spiritual influence of an ‘earth goddess. We understand this may not be language that you are comfortable with. However, as Christians, we believe there is a spiritual reality to our world and this choice has the potential to impact negatively on the town.
It is another sign of the times as the world turns away from God. Thank goodness Christians have spoken the truth to the town leaders however as it was commissioned by St Austell Bay Economic Forum (SABEF) and is on private land in the White River Place shopping centre. The Town Council corresponded with the church leaders in July 2022 explaining that the Town Council has no powers to remove or rename the statue and has no responsibility for its ongoing maintenance.”