Home » Uncategorized » Manx churchgoers call for artist’s prosecution

Manx churchgoers call for artist’s prosecution

An odd one, this, and not a story I’ve seen elsewhere – members of a church congregation in the West are trying to have a Peel artist prosecuted over his work.

A closed Facebook group for Living Hope Church members has twice now tried to round up people to make complaints to the police.

The artist lives on Derby Road in Peel, and has a window display he calls the Sunnyside Art Gallery.

In December, he produced this – a post-Apocalyptic nativity scene:

It didn’t take long before it was spotted, and the church group objected to it.

They then took to the closed Facebook group they run here:


What they wanted was more members to make complaints to the police to try to have the man behind the gallery prosecuted, although it’s difficult to say what crime may have been committed.

I spoke to the artist about this at the end of last year, and he wasn’t really very happy about it. Apparently, he’s had complaints before, the police came round to speak to him and then a decision was made to take no further action against him.

As I say, it’s difficult to see what offence might have been committed.

Early this year, the artist changed the display after another visit from police officers:

This time, though, there was a special message for the people who’d pushed for him to be charged over the displays:

I’ve spoken to the artist, who says he wants to maintain a dignified silence rather than complain to the media. He was more than a little surprised a journalist might be interested.

But it’s a great story: because we’re entering into the realms of religious censorship and blasphemy. The displays aren’t obscene, they simply portray someone’s vision of one specific religion. Trying to classify that as hate speech will have far-reaching consequences – and it’s especially hypocritical for conservative church members to claim victim status.

Fortunately, as things stand, these displays are not classed as potentially criminal in nature. The artist remains uncharged, and so far all of the complaints have come to nothing.

Long may that continue.


4 Responses so far.

  1. M.LL.C says:

    It is his house . He can put whatever he wants in his window. If you don’t like do not pip into his house. Me and my daughter enjoy his displays.

  2. If the art depicted the prophet Muhammad it would be taken down sharpish on the grounds of public safety and we as a tolerant society believe that to be an infringement of our value system

    So we should not allow other religions to stamp on people’s freedom of expression just because it conflicts with their particular world view

    This action shows to a rise in militant Christianity as part of a wider polarisation of western society

  3. Roy says:

    I hear there are people going around displaying a sacrificial body nailed to a cross.

    Can we please stop scaring our children with this?

    I should go to the police.

  4. Graham Hamer says:

    Bloody disgraceful behaviour by so-called churchgoers. The artist is simply expressing him/herself and harming nobody. Naturally, religious freaks want to stop anything they THEY disagree with, whether or not other people are nt offended.

    Perssonally, I would rather stand in front of that window than cross the road where I have to look at a man nailed to bits of wood, with thorns hammered into his head and a spear in his side. If anything is bloody repulsive, that is!

Leave a Reply to M.LL.C Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.