Crucified Stromtrooper relocated in church after parishioners complain

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A crucified stormtrooper on display at a London church has been granted a stay of execution - despite causing a stir among parishioners.

A priest arrived to decide whether to remove the controversial statue which formed part of an art exhibition at St Stephen Walbrook church.

Credit: SWNS

The priest and two church wardens questioned event organiser Ben Moore, who said the statue will go on sale after the exhibition has ended with a £12,000 price tag.

I explained the meaning of the piece, the way that some of them saw it is a stormtrooper is a very negative character. I like to think of it as a New Hope - such as in the new Star Wars film, where John Boyega rebels against the dark side and fights for something good.

Ben Moore, event organiser
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Ben explained the meaning of the piece to church members, who compromised and allowed the piece to stay.

I didn't intend to upset anyone, I like to raise awareness for my missing brother, I haven't seen him since 2003. This exhibition look to raise money in support of the Missing Tom fund, this shines a light on his case. With respect to the parish, I didn't want to upset anyone, I aim to create awareness and debate.

Ben Moore, event organiser
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After a 30 minute meeting, the stormtrooper statue was moved from a prominent place at the front of the church to the back of the hall.>People from across London visited the exhibition, which proved divisive.

It's a bit silly really: why use our church? It's plainly offensive Christians, to be honest.

Churchgoer, speaking anonymously

But a nun, who wished to remain anonymous said:

I didn't find the big crucifixion offensive. It's not my taste, but there you go.

Nun, speaking anonymously

Artist Christopher Clack, 61, whose piece 'The Descent of Gebbera' was on display, said:

Lots of Christians don't know their own history. The first images of Christ were considered offensive, so they're not the best people to judge. It was blasphemy to portray Christ on a cross, so they've changed their mind over time. It's as much my church as it is theirs. Atheists and Christians bought my work- the same one as hangs inside this church. I've been doing art all my life, I do it for the hell of it. The producer has done bits like this in other churches, more controversial and nothing happened, it's just ridiculous.

Christopher Clack, artist