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Sculptor’s handiwork receiving a favourable reaction from people in Woodbridge

Youngsters sit and stand in the sculpture of two cupped hands by Rick Kirby in place outside Woodbridge Quay Church.

Youngsters sit and stand in the sculpture of two cupped hands by Rick Kirby in place outside Woodbridge Quay Church.

A Suffolk church’s openhanded outlook on faith has been magnified for all to see.

A larger-than-life sculpture has been installed outside Woodbridge Quay Church, where a service of thanksgiving and commissioning takes place at 2pm tomorrow.

Visitors can see the 8ft-tall ‘hand sculpture’, created by acclaimed artist Rick Kirby, in the grounds of the Quay Street church, which commissioned the work following refurbishment in 2013.

An expanding congregation wanted to make a statement about their faith – to draw the eye and say ‘welcome’.

Minister Mark Hardingham said the church had already received hundreds of comments from visitors and passers-by.

“Art and sculpture always causes a reaction,” he added. “The comments were overwhelmingly positive and it seems to have sparked great interest.

“Lots of children were photographed sitting in the hands, while others stood and stared. There is no doubt in my mind that this was the most photographed spot in Woodbridge over the Easter weekend – very appropriate for a church to find itself the centre of attention at this time of year.”

He described the sculpture as “a piece of art that says this is a healthy place where God is encountered, at a time when they feel our society chooses to push Jesus to the fringe”.

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