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Billericay scarecrow's 'Messianic' pose alarms Christians

By Brentwood Gazette  |  Posted: February 20, 2013

  • JESUS-LIKE POSE: The scarecrow at Barleylands Farm with its creator, Dave Finkle

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A GIANT scarecrow mounted on a 20 foot cross has been agitating more than just birds in Billericay.

The gigantic stuffed figure, complete with a miniature counterpart, has been erected in a Jesus-like pose at the junction of Barleylands Road and Southend Road – and many of the area's Christians are not happy.

Assembled in the first week of Lent, the massive scarecrow, seemingly mounted on a huge cross, has been a source of controversy for the faithful in and around Billericay.

One furious woman called the Gazette to express her displeasure over the huge bird-scarer.

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The mother from Billericay, who refused to give her name, said: "I think it's incredibly distasteful and it is making fun of Jesus.

"I drove past the scarecrow with my daughter and she said, 'Look, Mummy, there's a man on a cross' – I don't think she should see that. It's an unmistakable crucifix and it's making a mockery out of my religion."

David Finkle, general manager at Barleylands Farm Park and Craft Village, helped to make the scarecrow and its smaller equivalent to promote the farm's half-term activities for children.

The giant scarecrow took a team of four people two days to make.

Mr Finkle said: "There does seem to be a difference in opinion and one or two people have said to me that they think it looks like a crucifix but everyone else has been so enthusiastic.

"He doesn't have hands or feet with nails through them, he's made of bailer twine.

"It took us ages to make his giant patchwork jacket and he is complete with raffia hair which changes in the wind. This is my first year here and I love to make stuff like this.

"I want to bring children's learning to life and I made the scarecrow so people knew about the Books, Cooks and Scarecrow week we're holding.

"Kids can make scones from scratch and then go out and make their own scarecrows. I think it's a shame that children don't do as much outside and we want to change that and bring their learning alive.

"Everyone talks about the scarecrow, he's certainly drawn a lot of attention.

"He's a brilliant example of a scarecrow stuffed with straw, we had to put him up with a forklift truck – that was the hardest part of making him."

Walking around Barleylands Farm Park, the Gazette spoke to visitors about the scarecrow.

Shelly Gunn, 31, from Stansted, was a big fan. "I think it's fabulous," she said.

"I got a photo of my two girls with him and we would love to have taken part in the half-term activities if we hadn't been busy."

'It freaks me out'

Wendy King, 48, a bank clerk from Great Burstead, said: "I think it's a bit creepy. I took a second look at it when I drove past – it freaks me out."

Karen Fellows, 50, a medical secretary from Rayleigh, said: "I could see how people would think it looks like a crucifix. It would look quite scary in the dark."

James Brown, 38, a marketer from Coulter Mews, said: "I don't have a problem with it. I don't know why people would find it offensive, it's just a bit of fun."

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  • stepford  |  February 21 2013, 12:55AM

    @PakefieldPonc, I know delusion kinda goes with the territory of being a religious fanatic, but have you ever actually seen a scarecrow? They all look like that. Talk about "overly PC". I bet you go around shouting about not be able to sing bah bah black sheep cos ultra-PC people are irrationally offended, but don't see this is the same thing. Taking offence at something inoffensive. I know Christians like to pretend they're being persecuted when people choose not to tolerate their prejudices and quest for world domination any more, but - believe me - I am JUST as willing to insult other religions and I do on a regular basis. That's my right. If I want to insult your religion, or if Finkle was trying to, that's perfectly fine, because we live in a free society and people are allowed to disagree with you. The reason it is the world's largest religion is because St George and his ilk had a nasty habit of slaughtering anyone who disagreed with them. Britain wasn't always Christian land. It was forced upon us with violence, threats and lies. Now that burning heretics is no longer acceptable, rational people are multiplying and your stone age rituals and myths are dying. Good riddance.

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  • stepford  |  February 20 2013, 3:13PM

    All scarecrows are this shape. The woman who complained is making a mockery of her religion, herself and the human race. On a side note, if I want to mock Christianity, why can't I? It IS pretty ridiculous. All talking snakes, cursed fig trees and zombie magicians.

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  • ShorterNews  |  February 20 2013, 12:58PM

    The mother from Billericay, who refused to give her name, said: "I think it's incredibly distasteful and it is making fun of Jesus" Technically, I'm not sure sure that you can make fun of something that doesn't exist. Certainly not enough to cause offence anyway. I mean, I could make fun of Harry Potter by saying that he's a bit dull for a wizard. But he's a fictional character, so what would be the point. And who would care, other than sad, deluded, needy, attention-seeking, pathetic, pointless, unnecessary, intransigent, warmongering pretend wizard-worshippers.

    |   44
  • pmcd_  |  February 20 2013, 12:10PM

    Has she ever seen a scarecrow before? They all look like this!! If she doesnt want her child to see this sort of thing she should avoid going to church, Ive heard there are lots of images of blokes on crosses there. Well done to David for promoting his local business events in a fun and creative way.

    |   48
  • Scouselad35  |  February 20 2013, 11:30AM

    When will this end? It seems there's a mad rush by people to 'who can be the most offended' by something. THERE IS NO OFFENCE HERE. Anyway other people than 'Jesus' were crucified so Jesus hardly has a monopoly. We Atheists are offended all the time by religious nuts but we don't go around shouting for things to be banned - or crying about things! Best thing for these people is to ignore them - any religion. Make Britain a secular country. Ban all religions and stop the building of religious buildings.

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  • Richard101  |  February 20 2013, 11:26AM

    Religionistas should be on medication for their delusions.

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