Irn-Bru Jesus

Published 18 December 2013  |  
Looking out over Jesus in the window are left to right: Rev Peter Gardner, Heidi Gardner and Rev Elijah Smith

Scotland's "other national drink", Irn Bru, has been enlisted by a Glasgow church for its novel advent calendar.

Renfield St Stephen's Church, in Bath Street, has used jam jars filled with water and the bright orange fizzy drink to spell out the word Jesus in its window.

The dynamic artwork is made up of 192 jam jars and is the creation of St Stephen's minister and resident artist, the Reverend Peter Gardner, his wife Heidi, and trainee minister Elijah Smith.

Mr Gardner said: "It's the first time we've created an advent calendar that can be seen by members of the public walking past. It's a wee bit of fun for Christmas. We hope people will see it each evening as a welcoming light in a dark world."

Rev Peter Gardner in action as he prepares to make up the next festive 'word of the day'

The trio get together at 3.30pm each day to change the jars around to spell a new word based on the nativity story and the calendar is backlit from 4pm onwards.

So far they have managed to shuffle the jars without spilling a drop.

A special word will appear on Christmas Day, when part of the church will be kept open round the clock to serve as a night shelter for the homeless under the auspices of Glasgow City Mission.

Mr Gardner and the team are keeping their word for Christmas Day a secret for now.

He added: "I thought we would have to eat a massive amount of jam to get enough empty jars for the idea to work – but members of the congregation were soon handing in jars galore."

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