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Easterly winds blow for new church billboard

Progressive Auckland church St Matthew-in-the-city has put up its Easter/April Fools billboard, and this one, which features Jesus on the cross saying “Well this sucks. I wonder if they’ll remember anything I said,” appears to be much more palatable to fun-hating prudes and religious zealots than the last innuendo-filled Christmas number.

Expectations were high for scandal and offence this time round after a fair deal of umbrage was taken to the last St Matthew-in-the-city billboard. It featured a post-coital Mary and a dejected Joseph with the line ‘Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow’. It was vandalised and stolen a few times before God struck it down with a lightning bolt and it was removed permanently.

It also made international news. Some might even say it went viral. But St Matthew’s communications manager, Rev Clay Nelson, wouldn’t say that.

“Let’s just put it this way: our billboards are a hard act to follow. Everything came together for that [Christmas] one in ways they sometimes do and it developed the type of controversy that went vile,” he told the Herald.

For the wowsers, it did indeed go vile. For most, however, it went viral. And this unintentionally ironic quote (either a slip-up from the reporter, or a hilarious mishear from the Rev, which is almost as good as ‘these shoes, they’re made of plywood’ or AC/DC’s ‘I was caught in the middle of a rhino attack’) elicited a few chortles and guffaws at the StopPress towers.

We have a penchant for caption competitions, and you marcomms folks seem to like coming up with witty slogans, so if you’re feeling a little bit easterly, feel free to add your own line (or even just an inappropriate Easter joke) to the comment wall below. Tell us what else Jesus could have said on the billboard and we’ll send some Steinlager Pure to the best efforts.

And, while we’re talking religion, here’s a Chip Shop Award-winning piece for No More Nails.

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