Sacristan of East Flemish church denies sacrilege after putting face masks on statues

The Sacristan of the church in the East Flemish village of Bellem has covered the mouths of all 14 statues of religious figures, including the Virgin Mary, that are on display in the church he looks after with face masks. Sacristan André Huys told VRT Radio 2 East Flanders that “Church-goers have to wear a mask so why shouldn’t the statues? They are setting a good example". 

"I had to decorate the church for the feast of the Assumption of Mary and I came upon the idea of putting face masks on the statues. The church-goers have to wear a mask so while souldn’t the statues of religious figures? This is certainly not sacrilege as the statues are setting a good example”.

The Sacristan is well-known locally for his creativity and originality in his approach to his job. Last year he organised yoga sessions in the church. Now he has put face masks on religious statues to encourage parishioners to keep up the good fight against coronavirus.

"By doing this I want to encourage church-goers not to start getting ‘corona fatigue’. If the saints had lived today they would have worn face masks. I hope that a lot of people come and take a look around and get to know our beautiful church. It is important to make the church a bit less boring” Mr Huys added.   

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