Panhandler Jesus returns to Kensington Market October 19th

A permanent bronze version of Timothy Schmalz’s sculpture “Whatsoever You Do” (affectionately known as Panhandler Jesus) will be installed and dedicated at the Church of St Stephen-in-the-Fields, 365 College Street, on Sunday October 19th.

The dedication will take place immediately after our 10:30 am Sung Mass. You are more than welcome to attend the service itself, but if you prefer to attend only the dedication, it will take place about 12 noon, outside the church at the College and Bellevue corner, where the statue will be placed.

Sculptor Timothy Schmalz will be present for the dedication, and will be available to speak to media.

In September 2013, we installed (temporarily, as we thought then) a fibreglass resin cast of the statue, which quickly became an important and much-loved part of the community. In November, the statue was stolen, to considerable international media attention, and was then returned four days later with a note of apology. But in January, as we struggled to provide food at the city’s emergency warming centre during the extremely harsh weather, the cold proved to be too much for the resin cast, and it shattered.

It was clear to us that the statue meant a great deal to many people in our neighbourhood, and perhaps especially to the most marginalized, who had never before seen a depiction of Jesus as one of them, a statement that they themselves were of infinite importance and value. It also expresses a great deal about who we are as a parish, and our commitment to social justice and inclusion. After a successful fundraising campaign, and with the support of The Anglican Foundation and many generous donors, we are greatly looking forward to seeing Panhandler Jesus with us again.

Our fundraising gala on October 24 will still be going ahead, to cover the remaining costs of installation. Anything raised beyond those costs will be used for our Sunday breakfast programme, which provides food for between 100 and 150 people every week.