Barleylands Farm Park in Billericay, Essex, recently erected a large cross on which a giant scarecrow was attached. It was meant to help promote the open farm. However, local Christians took exception to it, claiming that the scarecrow was mocking Jesus Christ.
The 20 foot tall scarecrow was built by Dave Finkle, Barleylands’ farm park manager, and 3 of his assistants. The scarecrow was built to promote a scarecrow making competition for children during the February half-term.
On 22nd February the scarecrow was burned down in a suspected arson attack by radical Christians. Both staff and children have been left devastated by the heartless and criminal act.
“As adults we are disappointed but we are resilient, it’s the children I feel sorry for, it’s ruined their fun” – Dave Finkle.
Many Christians spoke out against the scarecrow on a cross, saying that it was “making fun of Jesus” and was “incredibly distasteful“. However, most people saw it as just a bit of fun.
Ever since farmers first started building scarecrows they were attached to a cross. It is the easiest way to support a scarecrow. It seems incredibly sad that some Christians feel that a farmer’s scarecrow is somehow linked with the Roman crucifix (simply a method to torture a convicted criminal) and the Christian faith.
Any witnesses or anyone with information can contact Essex Police on 101.
Barleylands Farm Park is listed on our Essex Museums page. It is provides a great day out for all the family and helps to teach children about Essex’s rich agricultural history.