Church of England needs £3m to save its treasures
Bishop of London launches campaign to conserve 100 works of art
By Martin Bailey. Web only
Published online: 05 November 2013
The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has launched a campaign to conserve 100 treasures in Anglican churches, and the Church of England hopes to raise £3m for their conservation.
Church Care, the central Anglican organisation that runs the campaign, points out that caring for over 16,000 churches in England is an enormous burden. Repairs to buildings cost a total of £115m a year, “to keep them watertight and fit for the 21st century”. Too often, there are simply no funds left for conserving works of art.
In a statement, Church Care says that 100 works have been identified as “most in need” of conservation, otherwise they will be “at risk of permanent damage and loss”. The average cost of each project works out to an estimated £30,000.
Among the treasures on the list are:
Wooden chest, 16th century, Newington, Kent
This is a rare survival of an early chest once used to store parish records. It has been severely affected by damp and woodworm, and some of the planks will need to be replaced. Without urgent action, the chest will simply disintegrate. Cost: £72,000.
Wall painting, 15th century, Waltham Abbey, Essex
The important wall painting of “Doom” (The Last Judgement) has deteriorated and the fragile paint is flaking off. The most likely cause is dampness in the wall, which needs to be dealt with promptly. Cost: £38,000.
William Morris carpet, around 1906, Roker, County Durham
The Morris-designed carpet is part of the original Arts & Crafts decorative scheme for the church. The carpet has suffered from wear and dirt from being walked upon, and needs to be cleaned and repaired. Cost: £26,000.
Brasses, 1419-21, Linwood, Lincolnshire
The funerary brasses commemorating the Lyndewood family have been damaged, because of wear and moisture. Rising damp has caused the most recent damage, including corrosion. The drainage needs to be improved and the brass treated. Cost: £26,000.
Della Robbia sculpture, 15th century, Nynehead, Somerset
The relief of the Virgin and Child is probably by Andrea della Robbia, a nephew of the master Luca. Salts are coming out of the wall behind the ceramic, which is damaging the sculpted relief. The wall needs repointing, to minimise this problem. Cost: £26,000.
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