Why Owls?

  • Owls are the bird of wisdom. From cartoons to libraries and Minerva the goddess of wisdom they are associated with wisdom and learning.

  • Owls’ eyes face front like ours so they see in three dimensions.


  • Owls can turn their heads completely around and so can see in what’s going on behind their backs. The owls in the windows next to the doors have eyes on both sides to represent their all seeing.


  • Owls are silent flyers. If an owl is flying overhead their wings can’t be heard.


  • Finally, owls rid the world of vermin!

Census and numbers
     Women from each decade from the twenties to the nineties, were part of the Parliament of Owls. They asked St Marksers, how many instances of sexual harassment they had experienced in their lifetimes. Fifty-five people responded (4 men and 51 women) the total at the end of November was 1535.

Above The wall has 100 owls. We stopped counting at 100. Eight women reported 100 incidents or more. Some of the things they said were: 
    • I can’t count that high, 
    • There isn’t enough paper
    • If you wanted to work, it was a fact of life
    • It was just part of the annoyance of being a woman, wearing nylons, having a period, and having to put up with harassment.
On the left 
     These 11 owls remind us that owls are silent flyers.
On the right
     This wall has 50 owls. Six women experienced between 25 and 50 incidents of sexual harassment.

On the left 
     This vase and its’ companions throughout the church and parish hall have 10 owls. Eight women experienced between 10 and 20 incidents.
On the right
     This tree and its companions each have 25 owls. The  55 participants averaged 24.2 experiences of sexual harassment each, for a total of 1535.

On the left 
     This pillar and its companions have 50 owls each. There are 8 pillars in the nave.
On the right
     The owls in the windows next to the door have eyes on both sides of their heads. This is to show that owls are able to turn their heads completely around. They can see what is happening behind them.