Shayler, and his alter ego Dolores, cuts a lonely figure in Bendiksen’s photographs. The revelation that he was Jesus came to him in 2007, he told Bendiksen, which makes him one of the newer messiahs. Others, such as Vissarion of Siberia, have thousands of followers; even on Twitter, Shayler has fewer than 350. “You ask him about it and he says, ‘That’s not a problem’,” Bendiksen explains. “He says, ‘If you follow me, you’ll only end up at my house. Follow the way.’ He’s more of a lone operator.”
One of Bendiksen’s portraits shows Shayler on a hill outside Middlesbrough, arms open, his solitary companion’s orange jumper lit by sunset. Another shows him alone in a cafe sipping coffee; his tiny cup does not overfloweth, his expression is distinctly woebegone. Is this really what Jesus looks like?