Medieval “Doom” Painting found at St Mary’s, Gt Eversden
Published on October 29th, 2017 | by Admin20
MEDIEVAL “DOOM” PAINTING FOUND AT ST MARY’S GREAT EVERSDEN
On October 22nd, The Right Reverend Stephen Conway, Lord Bishop of Ely led a packed congregation in Sunday Worship at St Mary’s, Great Eversden, to re-open the church after substantial restoration works, during which time it has been closed. The major programme included underpinning the chancel, rebuilding buttresses and other stonework, repairs to the roof and replacing a 1950’s fibreboard ceiling with new lime plaster. The service was followed by lunch in the Village Hall.
During the works a medieval “Doom Painting” was discovered over the chancel arch, which has been restored. It features the torso of Christ, with blood flowing from his pierced side, surrounded by angels in flight and in prayer. There is considerable detail, with the angels having long combed hair, and feathered wings. Traditionally doom paintings depicted Christ in judgement, directing to heaven or hell as appropriate, as an admonition to the congregation. In artistic contrast, the renowned painter Anthony Green RA, a resident of the Eversdens, has offered one of his major works, in the shape of a crucifix, created at the time of his admission to the Royal Academy, to be installed within the church.
The church has also been upgraded with WC, kitchenette, audio system / hearing loop, and a new “green” heating system using air source heat pumps. With modern facilities, it is anticipated the church will become a community facility for various events and meetings, in particular music and drama.
The Rev’d. Charles Fraser, Vicar of St Mary’s, who also lives in the village, said “It is believed there has been a church here since Norman times, and possibly longer, and it is wonderful to have our church restored and refreshed for current and future generations.”
The Parochial Church Council and the village are grateful to the contractors, Lodge and Sons, and Freeland Rees Roberts, the overseeing architects. Particular thanks are due to the funding contributors, including inter alia, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Fossey Charitable Trust, AllChurches Trust, Wolfson Foundation, Cambridge Historic Churches Trust, Jack Patson Trust, Veneziana Fund, the Society for Antiquaries, and Friends of the Eversden Churches.
For further information call The Rev’d. Charles Fraser Tel: 01223 264974 or Neville Pritchard 07889 896872
Photographs taken and supplied by kind permission by Jill Marshall