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Artist raises pollution awareness

From the Guardian Newspaper


OM Philip Chatfield recently rowed down the Wye to raise awareness about the plight of the Wye one of the most beautiful rivers in the west of Britain, suffering pollution from industrial chicken factories along its banks.


He and a friend came up with the idea of a sculpture of Mary, the symbol of purity, cleanliness and fruitfulness, floating down the river.


The voyage began at Hay bright and early, residents carried the sculpture of ‘Our Lady of the Waters’ down to the river and scattered rose petals over it from the bridge. Chatfield and keen local canoeist, Callum Bulmer, paddled the vessel – and pushed it through the shallowest parts.


A trumpeter and saxophonist played Bridge Over Troubled Water from a bridge as the catamaran passed, and monks from Belmont Abbey performed Gregorian. During its 75-mile week-long journey to Monmouth via Hereford and Ross-on-Wye, the statue was accompanied by riverside church bells, canoeists and wild swimmers.


The idea of the project was conceived by Philip and Father Richard Williams, the parish priest of St Mary’s church in the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye.



The full article can be read: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/16/hail-mary-statues-trip-down-the-wye-raises-chicken-pollution-issue

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