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Ashford: Infinity Snowdog could be moved back to St Mary's churchyard if new campaign comes off

The leaders of Ashford's churches have launched a campaign to move a Snowdog back inside the grounds of St Mary's.

Infinity Dog, which is part of the popular Ashford Snowdogs trail and celebrates the work of John Wallis, had been placed at the entrance of the town centre church but was removed following a complaint from campaigner Chris Cooper.

Now, The Rev John MacKenzie, team rector of the Ashford town parish, is leading a proposal to return the model to its former position.

The Infinity Dog was previously in St Mary's churchyard
The Infinity Dog was previously in St Mary's churchyard

The campaign was announced via a letter pinned to the door of St Mary's and Mr MacKenzie has written to church bosses requesting the Snowdog is returned.

Mr Cooper, 39, had contacted the Registrar of the Ecclesiastical Court, which supported his complaint and said the "unauthorised installation" should be removed.

But now Mr MacKenzie hopes church bosses will overturn its decision.

He said: "We thought it appropriate to see if we can have an opportunity to move it back.

The Rev John MacKenzie says he was disappointed the Snowdog was moved
The Rev John MacKenzie says he was disappointed the Snowdog was moved

"We're doing all we can, working with the church authorities to ensure the Infinity Dog has a chance of coming back to the church.

"It's not in the hands of the local church but with the commissary general, who oversees the law for the Diocese of Canterbury.

"There may not be time to do it, but we thought it was important to make an effort to do so.

The Infinity Dog in its new location
The Infinity Dog in its new location

"It's highly likely the exhibition will have run its course before we get a decision back from the commissary general, but I felt the dog was in the right place an the churchyard, and any opportunity we have to get it back there would be great."

The Infinity Dog is currently sat close to the Hair Academy, outside of the fenced off churchyard.

The sculpture, sponsored by Leath Park Developments, will only be on display for a few more weeks as the art trail ends on Sunday, November 18.

'I personally wish it hadn't been moved...' - The Rev John MacKenzie

Mr MacKenzie added: "I was extremely pleased that the Infinity Dog was placed in the churchyard.

"I think the link John Wallis has with the clergy and the church made it a great thing that the dog should be placed in the church, so I was extremely disappointed that the commissary general - the judge who oversees the law for the Canterbury Diocese - wasn't able to support the church in keeping the dog where it was.

"Chris Cooper has every right to make an objection. It's the law of the land to be able to do it.

"I personally wish he hadn't but it's his right. In his view, he's working to try to make the church as good as it can be from his point of view.

"I personally wish it hadn't been moved but I have no gripe against him as a person, he's just exercising his rights under the law."

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