Location: St Ann’s church
Designer: Sarah Stuart & Cat Pratt, members of Sanctus 1 - www.sanctus1.co.uk
Location Notes: St Ann’s was consecrated in 1712 and had a remodel in the late 1880s by Alfred Waterhouse (architect of the famously gothic Manchester Town Hall). It is right in the heart of the city and provides for many of the city’s dwellers, shoppers, tourists and workers. It also forms part of the early history of Sanctus 1.
Shrine Notes: This shrine encourages reflection on the Israel-Palestine separation barrier (wall) and the impact it has on the daily lives of Palestinians at they try to access work or medical care. It imagines Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem having yet another obstacle to pass.
Designer Notes: But for the big Christmas fair, this shrine could also have been sited in Piccadilly Gardens, as the stark concrete wall reminds us of a separation barrier. By placing Mary and Joseph in the context of the separation wall it will hopefully make people consider the parallels between their situation and the current situation of many Palestinians. The nativity is often depicted as warm and clean, with Christmas candlelight and a cosy newborn baby - this shrine aims to juxtapose this with the poverty and difficulty of life under occupation.
Feel free to write about your thoughts and experiences with this shrine, or how you've seen people using it, as a comment (see below) or tweet @sanctus1mcr.