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Easter celebrations at St Paul’s are always ‘egg-ceptional’ affairs – even more so this year as visitors were able to drop-in and see just how much attention to detail goes into the festivities. Nowhere is that more evident than with the traditional Paschal Candle, which is lit to symbolise...

Easter celebrations at St Paul’s are always ‘egg-ceptional’ affairs – even more so this year as visitors were able to drop-in and see just how much attention to detail goes into the festivities. Nowhere is that more evident than with the traditional Paschal Candle, which is lit to symbolise the presence of Christ.

In recent times, artist Regan O’Callaghan has taken on the job of providing the brush strokes that give the candle its distinctive look. And for the first time this year, Regan painted the towering pillar in full view of visitors to St Paul’s between 3 and 7 April.

New Zealand born artist and priest Regan used a theme of water for this year’s decoration, inspired by World Water Day and St Paul’s commitment to the JustWater campaign. He employed a mix of traditional religious icon imagery and symbols, as well as themes from his native New Zealand, in the design before the candle took pride of place in the cathedral’s Easter activities.

It will now burn until a new candle is crafted next year. Regan, who has been charged with decorating duty for the past seven years, said: “Painting the cathedral’s Paschal Candle has been a great privilege. “Every year it’s especially dramatic when the candle is lit as it represents the light of Christ coming into the world.

“My inclusion of New Zealand themes refers to a belief in the beauty of God’s creation, especially birds which, for me, symbolise freedom. It is also a reminder that we need to care for our beautiful world.”

Canon Michael Hampel, Precentor of St Paul’s, was full of praise for Regan and commended his craftsmanship. He said: “The light of Christ burns as a symbol of new life and new hope, and refines our minds and hearts with the message of God’s saving love for us all.  “We are so grateful to Regan for lending us his artistry for a candle which, this year for the first time, will burn all day every day until next Easter.”

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