A church was slammed this morning over a display promoting Christian Aid week using a ‘blacked up’ – MANNEQUIN.
The window scene features a white tailor’s dummy covered in brown varnish to make her look ‘African’.
Onlookers were stunned to see a lady putting a white mannequin in the window – then using a brown substance to paint the skin.
The blacked-up mannequin holding a black baby has been installed at the Maidstone United Reformed Church in Maidstone, Kent.
But the display – being used to promote Christian Aid week – is causing a stir in the town.
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One witness said: “I saw a woman putting it together on Friday lunchtime. She seemed like a normal, nice, well-meaning lady.
“But then when I came back from getting a sandwich I saw her stood there painting this white mannequin with varnish.
“I couldn’t believe it – it’s so inappropriate. I can’t believe anybody would think that’s a good idea in this day and age.
”It looks like they could find a black baby doll but didn’t have a black mannequin so used something to make it darker.”
Charlotte Jacks, 28, of Goudhurst, Kent, has a four-and-a-half-year-old daughter, of mixed race.
She said: “Why would anyone do that? It’s so bad it’s almost a joke. I hope they take it down immediately.”
The entrance to the church is down an alley and the display is in what was once a shop at the mouth of the alley, but is now part of the church.
Christian Aid Week is an annual charitable event which takes place in the second week of May, run by a collective of different churches nationwide.
Last year, 20,000 churches raised an incredible £12million, which was used to help less-fortunate people all over the world, including Africa.
Christian Aid works with more than 700 local organisations across 50 developing countries on a range of issues in a bid to make life better, and the annual fundraising drive is running from May 11 until 17 this year.