Medieval church paintings saved

RARE medieval paintings in a Suffolk church are to be preserved after a campaign to save them was awarded more than �32,000.

Dave Gooderham

RARE medieval paintings in a Suffolk church are to be preserved after a campaign to save them was awarded more than �32,000.

The project at St Mary's Church, Lakenheath, was boosted by the massive grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund which means the wall paintings will be conserved and preserved for future generations.

Delighted project leaders said the decoration is thought to be unique among surviving English wall paintings.


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Dated from the 13th to the 17th centuries, the paintings were discovered during restoration work carried out on the stunning medieval church in 1864 and depict scenes from the life of Christ, angels, birds and local saint, King Edmund.

Project manager, Matthew Champion, said: “The wall paintings at Lakenheath are of national importance and the lottery funding will enable them to be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

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“However, the project isn't just about relics from the past. These fantastic images were originally paid for and created by the local community. This project aims to bring local people back into their church to rediscover their own parish heritage.”

Father Robert Leach added: “We are deeply grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for proving the funds to enable this project to proceed. Without their help these unique works of art would have faced an uncertain future.”

A six-month scheme aimed at conserving and explaining the wall paintings has now been launched which will see the creation of a modern wall painting by the local community as a lasting monument to the project.

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