Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Grail Boat

The Christ Journey ends with a journey, the journey of Joseph of Arimathea with the Grail, to Britain. With him on this small boat, miraculously moved through the waters by a presiding angel, are other friends of Jesus, in particular Mary Magdalene. Yet Tricker’s whole intention is to assure us that the Christ Journey does not end. It continues throughout the centuries in various forms and manners, always alive with the Spirit of Jesus.

He has chosen for this climactic sculpture a five hundred year old piece of English oak which has luminous glow. This is the same image we have seen twice before, brightly in a painting and darkly in a drawing. Now we can walk all around it and see for ourselves the trustfulness and holy determination with which these travellers voyage.

The priestly intensity with which Joseph looks ahead to his unknown destination is especially striking. Tricker feels an added tenderness because the little boat is moving toward England and, of course, Tricker himself is an Englishman. When Pope Benedict XVI made his State Visit to Britain, he made a surprising comment. He said that he sensed in the British people ‘a spiritual hunger’. This is not how the British tend to think of themselves, but clearly the Holy Fathwer picked up something which Tricker himself feels.

In different ways, every image in the Christ Journey expresses that spiritual hunger. Tricker lingers on the events of the Life of Jesus and those of His New Testament followers, and adds examples of future followers, because of this fruitful and beautiful hunger.

Picture © Nigel Noyes

Text and picture are extracts from the book The Christ Journey published by ST PAULS, which can be purchased here.