His (Peter Hutleys) own upbringing was, he says, broadly Christian, but he’s not keen on denominational labels. “In 1944, when I joined the Army, my sergeant said I had to put something in the box for religion, and told me I was Church of England.” It was only after he had started staging the nativity plays at Wintershall that he found himself challenged to deepen his commitment.
Encouraged by his family, in 1994 Hutley travelled to Medjugorje, the small town in Bosnia-Hercegovina where the Virgin Mary is reported to have been appearing since 1981.
The apparitions have not yet received the imprimatur of the Vatican, but Hutley was sufficiently moved to become a Catholic the following year. He has returned there more than 20 times and remains close to the Franciscan priests who run the parish in Medjugorje. Ever practical, he has expressed his commitment to the shrine by sorting out its town planning issues, which became more pressing as visitor numbers grew. Peter Hutley explains what inspired him to recreate Christ’s crucifixion in Trafalgar Square tomorrow in THE TELEGRAPH