January 2013 ‘We hope to begin work on therepairs to the church walls next to the roodscreen in mid 2013, depending onour success in fund-raising. When the repairs to the building have been completedwe will be able to start the conservation project for the roodscreen itself.We have received very generous grant supportfrom the Wolfson Foundation but we are still fund-raising and if you would liketo contribute to the work of preserving this rare mediaeval roodscreen forfuture generations, please contact either of the church wardens – see below.The conservation work will provide a rareopportunity for anyone interested in seeing this meticulous and highly skilledwork being carried out in situ and we hope to organise visits from school,colleges or any group wishing to visit.
EADT - Wednesday October 12th 2012 (page 8)
BID TO PROTECT SCREENS - by Jonathan Barnes
A major effort has been launched to save medieval rood screens in churches across East Anglia. Conservators will be carrying out explorative work at 10 churches into the condition of wooden screens, which divide the chancel from the nave.
The £40,000 project - launched at an international conference on protected religious buildings yesterday - will be piloted at St Mary's Church in Yaxley near Eye; and St Mary's Church in Belstead near Ipswich. Rood screens at those churches both date from the 16th century and have fallen into disrepair.
The funding, awarded from The Headley Trust, will allow for a specialist conservation report to be drawn up for the screens. It should also pay for a single panel in two of the churches to undergo conservation work, with the Belstead church in line to benefit. The other churches will be able to use the conservation reports to apply for grants.
The screens feature paintings of religious figures, including saints and bishops. Many of the paintings have been damaged, with faces of the relligious figures scratched out. It is thought that the damage was likely to have been caused during violent campaigns against the Church, either in the reformation period or the English civil war in the 1640s. Any conservation work would not restore the faces as the damage is regarded as important historical evidence.
Anne Sloman, of the council, said; "Our aim is to create a conservation plan for these precious screens, looking at why they are deteriorating, what can be done to prevent deterioration and how to find practical ways of raising funds for the future care of the panels."