An old Werribee tree succumbing to the elements has been resurrected in a most divine fashion, with the image of St Andrew carved on its trunk.

St Andrews parish priest Frank Buhagiar said the tree, which stands at the front of St Andrew’s Church, had long been part of the parish’s heritage, but was showing signs of decay in 2010 during the drought. A number of its branches came off during a 2013 storm, prompting the parish to consider its future.

Father Buhagiar said a number of parishoners suggested creating a carving out of the tree trunk, with three families commissioning Japanese artist Hikaru Kodama to carve out the St Andrew’s sculpture.

Working from a miniature sculpture, it took three days for Mr Kodama to sculpt the image out of the stump of the tree, which – after being cut down – resembles a cross.

The carving was given an official blessing last Thursday.

Father Buhagiar said he was thrilled with the tree carving.

“It’s just incredible the way he managed to capture all of it,” he said.