Parishioners at St Peter ad Vincula church in South Newington have secured a vital grant which they hope will allow them to complete the conservation of a rare 700-year-old painting in their church.
The church’s fabric sub-committee has secured an initial £3,700 payment to help it prepare for a full grant application of £25,700 to help conserve the 14th century Doom painting on plaster around the chancel arch.
Committee member John Gardner said conserving the painting would put the finishing touches to a long-running campaign which has seen villagers raise funds to conserve other rare paintings, repair the church roof and replace windows to prevent leaks damaging them. He said: “It’s the last bit in looking after the church. We have some unique wall paintings which are internationally renowned and this is the last bit in the puzzle.”
English Heritage experts advised the committee the painting should be conserved and other grants have been secured from Viridor Credits and the Church Buildings Council for a full project cost of £63,000.
Expert conservators from north Oxfordshire-based The Perry Lithgow Partnership have successfully bid to carry out the work.
The firm’s principal Richard Lithgow spent his childhood in the village and got married in the church.
The work will start in 2015.
Doom paintings are stylised depictions of the Day of Judgement showing departed souls being sent to heaven or hell.
They were a means of helping guide potential sinners on the path to righteousness but were painted over with whitewash when protestant ideas were adopted during the English Reformation.