A crucifix that was originally found amid the ruins of a church during World War I has been repatriated to France after being housed in a church in England’s East Midlands for over a century. The crucifix was reportedly saved by an army chaplain named Rev. Percy Hoosonan from a church in Doingt, an area devastated during the Battle of Somme in 1916. Hoosonan later relocated it to All Saints’ Church in Tinwell, Rutland. Recently, a group from the Rutland church made the decision to return the crucifix to France after a 16-year-old member of their congregation realized that the church located in Doingt had been reconstructed. The artifact has now been rightfully returned to its place of origin.
Premier Christian News reports:
A crucifix retrieved from the rubble of a church during World War I has been returned to France after being kept in a church in the East Midlands for over 100 years.
It’s understood the crucifix was salvaged by Rev Percy Hoosonan, an army chaplain from a church in Doingt, an area that was completely destroyed during the Battle of Somme in 1916.
The chaplain later placed it in All Saints’ Church in Tinwell, Rutland.
On Saturday, a group of from the church Rutland returned the artefact after a 16-year-old member of the congregation realised the church in Doingt had been rebuilt.
Speaking to the BBC, his father, Chas McDevitt, said: “My son and my wife were discussing
the fact we had an artefact from a French church, destroyed in the war.
“He looked online and saw it had been rebuilt and said, ‘Why don’t we take it back?’ Suddenly we have a day like today and it feels like the right thing to do.
“It’s so much more important for this community to have their cross back, it’s a continuity of their history.”
After receiving special permission from the Diocese of Peterborough, Rev Olwen Woolcock, priest-in-charge at Tinwell, formally handed the crucifix.
A special ceremony was held in the church’s cemetery to mark the return of the crucifix.
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