Forget scripture...preach Kanye West! Hilarious church signs in Hornchurch spread joy

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:25 13 May 2016

Terry Keens with one of her painted signs outside of St Andrew's church in Hornchurch

Terry Keens with one of her painted signs outside of St Andrew's church in Hornchurch


A church’s alternative signs have been spreading joy – and occasionally causing raised eyebrows – among passers-by and its congregation.

They quote rapper Kanye West, call Moses a basket case and joke about Jesus having two dads.

But it’s not graffiti by teenagers on the blackboards outside St Andrew’s Church, High Street, Hornchurch - instead it’s the work of 63-year-old volunteer Terry Keens.

Terry, who quotes leaders from other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, said it was more effective at capturing attention than quoting scripture.

She said: “I love writing the messages on the boards.

“You walk by churches and they have quotes from the Bible and people don’t take any notice.

“I like to mix it up, it doesn’t matter who said it, it’s about the meaning behind it.

The Rev Barry Hobson said his favourite sign, which said “Jesus had two dads and he turned out fine”, helped promote discussion in the community.

He said: “I’m hoping people know it’s a bit of fun.

“That one was a bit controversial but nevertheless it was a point of discussion.”

Rev Hobson said he hoped signs like that showed people that the church was open to debate.

He said: “Christianity is not a simple thing.

“It is a complex theory, and can be hard for anyone to understand.

“It’s about showing that we are open as a church.

“We wanted to communicate with people.”

Terry Keens, from Harold Wood, estimates she has written more than 280 quotes on the boards outside the church.

She said: “It’s nice to be cheerful and have a sense of humour.

“People might walk past and want to visit our church because we don’t seem stuffy!”

Terry says she takes extra care to ensure everything is spelt correctly, so the church office doesn’t receive complaints.

She said: “I have got in trouble before for misquoting as people ring up and complain someone else said it!

“The problem with the internet is that it’s difficult to know who did say something sometimes.”

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