Carved figure of Christ returned to Futuna Chapel

On Thursday a carved figure of Christ, removed from a crucifix and missing for 12 years, was returned the the Futuna Chapel in Karori, Wellington New Zealand.

It was carried from a police van back into the chapel while a karakia (prayer) was sung.

A prayer was offered by Taranaki kaumatua (elder), Sam Jackson, as the statue lay at the bottom of the cross it was stolen from.

The Auckland artist who carved the statue, Jim Allen, was at the chapel to see its return.

He said it was a great day.

“It’s a day that I was beginning to think I was never going to see.”

He was wondering what the statue would look like after its time away, but it survived with just a finger broken and some scratches.

“I think with a good clean he’s going to be all right.

A crown of thorns that was on Christ’s head has still not been found.

Futuna, formally a Retreat House, was sold in 2000.  All the buildings except the chapel, which has heritage status,  were demolished to make way for a housing development.

The Chapel was acquired by a Trust which now maintains it.

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