St Marys Church Lydiard Tregoze Conservation Project is pleased to announce that Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust, Allchurches Trust and the Jill Franklin Trust are the latest major financial contributors. It means the church in Lydiard Park is now able to undertake urgent conservation of the 18th Century Reredos and east Chancel wall.
Tenders have been received for the associated building work and it is expected that the conservator will start work on the Reredos in early November.
This will address long standing damage and, water penetration. It will also help to inform the approach to the conservation of the historic interior and the extensive medieval wall paintings in the church which forms part of the much larger conservation project.
The refined bid for this larger project was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund in August, with a decision expected in December 2015. The main focus of the application will the conservation of the extensive medieval wall paintings , which have identified by the Church of England as one of the 100 artworks currently most in need of conservation in their 100 Church Treasures Appeal. The appeal aims to secure an important part of the nation’s heritage and make it available to be enjoyed by visitors and the communities across the country.
Appeal Chairman Paul Gardner commented: “We believe carrying out the work to the Reredos in advance of the Heritage Lottery decision means that the public are able to see that their donations to our appeal fund are being used to continue to restore and conserve the beautiful interior of the church.”
The 400th anniversary of the installation of the St John Triptych on 20 July 1615 was marked at an open weekend on 25 and 26 July when over 450 people visited see the unique artwork depicting the St John family tree, and marvel at the extensive collection of medieval wall paintings. A further 250 people visited the church over Heritage Weekend in September 2015 to see all the treasures of St Marys and its rich Christian & social history of the past 1000 years.
There will be one final public viewing and display of the St John Triptych on Sunday 4 October, from 1pm to 5pm. This will include a rare viewing of the Red Queen panel and talks about the Tudor and Stuart historical connections with the church.
The fund raising continues a pace and the church has has now secured funds in excess £186,000 which includes all the funds required for the Reredos project. The anticipated match funding for the HLF bid is £298,000 of which over 50 per cent is now secured and pledged. The submission to Heritage Lottery Fund is in the region of £790,000.
The Reredos is a decorated panel behind the church alter. It can be seen behind the Archbishop of Canterbury who is viewing the St John Triptych when he visited St Mary’s, Lydiard Park in September 2014. Below, the St John Triptych. Photos: Richard Wintle of Calyx