Picturing our past

PICTURE PERFECT The Rev Amanda Barraclough with the painting.
PICTURE PERFECT The Rev Amanda Barraclough with the painting.
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A magazine cutting left on a vicar’s desk led her congregation to a treasured painting.

The Rev Amanda Barraclough was curious when she saw the article about a painting resembling what St Mary’s Parish Church would have looked like 600 years ago.

“I saw the picture which said it was the interior of Woodkirk Church,” she said.

“I scouted around and found that it was in a gallery in London.”

When the congregation learned about the painting, members decided they could not miss out on a piece of the church’s history.

Mrs Barraclough said: “We wanted to be able to bring it home. It opened a window into what the church looked like – it showed the interior of the church in 1830s. “

She contacted Abbott and Holder and negotiated a price of £2,000, using £500 from generous churchgoers to partly pay for the painting.

The piece is believed to have been painted by Robert Chantrell, who was a church architect in the 1800s.

“If we didn’t grab the opportunity to buy it, we might never get it,” Mrs Barraclough said. “It is now back in the parish for the first time ever.”

The painting is in storage until a suitable display area can be arranged.