Originally published at Islington Now.

Newington Green's femininst icon.

Newington Green’s femininst icon.

Fans of famous feminist Mary Wollstonecraft are celebrating her surprise appearance in the form of graffiti on the side of a church in Newington Green.

The stencilled image of the 18th century “mother of feminism”, by street artist Stewy, is a bonus for a local campaign to get a statue of Ms Wollstonecraft erected in the borough.

Islington-based movement Mary on the Green tweeted a photo of Stewy’s artwork, saying: “What a boost to the campaign! Mary manifests on NG church @newunity.”

Newington Green Action Group set up the initiative in 2011 to make her life and work more accessible to local people.

Campaigner Bee Rowlatt said: “[Ms Wollstonecraft] is an internationally renowned champion of women’s rights and there’s no statue to her anywhere.

“What’s wonderful is to see her being recognised locally. She’s a local icon and we want her to be celebrated,” Ms Rowlatt said.

Ms Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, lived locally and attended the “radically-inclusive” New Unity church during her lifetime.

Described as Ms Wollstonecraft’s “spiritual home”, the Grade 2 Listed building has close ties to early feminist politics.

New Unity minister Andy Pakula said: “This is a mysterious apparition of the mother of feminism.” He described her as: “A daring figure who continues to inspire us in the fight for freedom and justice for all people.

“For her to miraculously appear is infinitely better than Jesus on grilled cheese.”

Turning to her influence, Pakula said: “Throughout the world there continues to be tremendous oppression of women, even in the 21st century. We can’t forget that.”

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