Wesley church restoration reveals statue of topless woman
John Wesley was a cleric of the Church of England and regarded as one of the founders of the Methodist movement along with his younger brother Charles. Oliver Pickup of the Daily Mail writes about a recently restored statue found in the in church house where Wesley worshiped. Apparently, the statute was a little too titillating for Wesley and his parishioners, so the breasts were covered up with a lead plate. So even Superman couldn’t be distracted now!
After having her modesty covered for years, a church restoration has revealed a statue of a topless woman.
The small statue has uncovered in the church house next to the Priory Church of St James in Bristol, where Methodist founder John Wesley, who died in 1791, aged 87, worshipped.
There is speculation that the unclothed figure was too much of a distraction for Wesley and his early 18th Century Methodists who ordered her to be covered up.
The prudish parishioners had a lead breast plate placed over her chest which remained in position for the next three centuries.
Workers discovered the statue during a restoration project of the ancient building and removed the lead covering.
The figure has now been exposed again and returned to her former glory with help from the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
The buxom brunette, who is holding a cornucopia of fruit, stands with her green frock pulled down beneath her breasts and a red shawl wrapped around her shoulders.
She is thought to have arrived from abroad and placed in the house shortly after it was built in the 17th Century.
The church the house stands next to is the Grade I listed, 12th Century Priory Church of St James.