Conversion of St Paul (2010)

Bruce Denny's 2010 Conversion of St Paul was originally situated outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London, to mark the 300th anniversary of its rebuilding. It is now removed, rather discreetly, standing beside St Paul’s Church at Covent Garden. Although it is appropriate that it is found in the grounds of another church dedicated to Paul, it is in too confined a space; it ought to be a centre piece rather a sideshow. The building work taking place on the church last autumn also detracted somewhat from the work’s majesty.

Although the subject, Saul of Tarsus, is dressed more like a Greek athlete than a Jewish rabbi, Denny rightly captures the moment at which Saul’s life changes forever. Prior to this event, he hated Jesus and the people who followed Him; after this scene, he becomes one of their leaders and died himself a martyr for the cause.

The importance of conversion has been forgotten by the main churches. The Lord Jesus said that no-one will see the Kingdom of God except he be born again. This is a phrase much derided by religious and unreligious alike, but it was the Lord Jesus Himself who pronounced it. No one will make a statue of my conversion, but it altered my present and future as much as Rabbi Saul’s. Have you been converted?