The mermaid in Sherborne Abbey

During a traditional Festal Matins in Sherborne Abbey, our gaze lighted upon the subversive and challenging Mermaid on the roof of the Nave by the South Transept, dating from medieval times. Why is she there? What is she telling us?The recent report on women in the leadership of the church The Leading Question? used the mermaid image because it is seen as a symbol of Christ. Her two natures, half human and half fish, echoed Christ’s humanity and divinity. The mermaid can still be seen as a beautiful symbol of our faith – of who Christ is. She speaks of living with ambiguity and mystery, of the importance of taking risk and calling us all out of complacency. Surely a message from the Easter Story.