Gidea Park statue finds new home at Ilford school


Statue of Mary praying

A wooden statue from Gidea Park parish has found a new home. The statue of the Virgin in Prayer had been replaced by a new bronze of Mother and Child as part of the refurbishment of the Church of Christ the Eternal High Priest. Now the old statue has pride of place in a newly built shrine in Ss Peter and Paul Junior School in Ilford. Headteacher Mrs Sue Johnson, who attends Gidea Park church, was delighted with the gift and went to great lengths, despite the pandemic, to have the new home ready for the travelling statue.

On unveiling the statue at a school assembly, she said: “We welcome a new addition to the SS Peter and Paul’s community – a wonderful statue of our lady. The beautiful wooden statue of the Virgin in Prayer was a special gift from Fr Adrian Graffy, parish priest of Christ the Eternal High Priest in Gidea Park.

“Fr Adrian, a past pupil of SS Peter and Paul’s, wanted Our Lady to have a special home. We are very grateful to him for this special gift; as we pray the rosary to Mary this month, we will pray for Fr Adrian and the parish community of Gidea Park.”

Fr Adrian said: “I am delighted that the Virgin in Prayer has found a new home where she will inspire so many young boys and girls as they grow in their life of faith in that wonderful school.”

He is also very pleased with the unique bronze image of Mother and Child which now hangs in the church. Commissioned from Serpone, a liturgical firm in Naples, it was created by artist Dario Caruso over many months  – and arrived at the parish in November 2019 in time for Advent. Said Fr Adrian: “Gratitude is due to Bob, Tom and Jack for fixing it firmly on the wall.”