A PAINTING of Christ that was banned from a church can now see the light of day again.
Lavant artist Richard Whincop created the painting, showing Christ in the South Downs, with the River Lavant and the Trundle in the background.
It was specially designed to be hung over the font in St Mary’s Chuch and was unveiled in 2012.
However, a church judge ruled the painting was not in keeping with the church’s interior, was too large and ‘unashamedly modern’.
After it spent a period of time out of sight of the church’s disappointed parishioners, it has now been placed in the Lavant Room, in the church’s adjoining parish hall.
“We’ve got the painting in the parish room, which at least means people can see it,” said Mr Whincop.
He said the church was due to start holding coffee mornings in the hall from Saturday, which would allow a great many more people to see the painting.
He did express sadness that the painting was not allowed to hang in the space for which it was specially designed.
“Some people have said how they’ve noticed the gap where the painting used to be and feel a bit sad,” he said.
The Observer featured the painting on its front page in April, following the decision by the diocese.
“There was nothing else that could be done at that time,” said Mr Whincop this week.
“I think it’s possible we could do another application in the future, but that would be a long way down the line.
“I think they’re quite happy to let the dust settle for now.”
At the time there was outcry from parishioners, with many expressing their support for the painting.
Mr Whincop was part of the celebrated art trail around Chichester earlier this year. During the two weeks, he had 250 people visit his home, with a couple visiting especially after seeing the story in the newspaper.
Mr Whincop is heading to Italy in April after being commissioned to join artists from France, Germany, Spain and Italy in creating paintings depicting the areas from which they have come.