Members of the public are being offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to climb up to the roof of Cawston Parish Church and marvel at the roof angels, medieval carvings and original paintwork.
The opportunity to see the angels up close has come because of a major repair project to the internationally renowned Cawston Parish Church.
Team Vicar, the Revd Andrew Whitehead, said:
“We’re so excited to be able to offer this unique opportunity to members of the public. Cawston Parish Church is not only a beautiful building, but it is also a well-used and loved hub of the community. This project with help protect both its beauty and ability to be used by the community for many more years to come. As part of the project we are excited to also be able to offer hard-hat days, which will give people an amazing chance to get close to the angels; to take pictures and to wonder at the methods and motivations of our medieval ancestors.”
The hard-hat days are on 9, 15, 16 and 23 March and will include talks about the repair work and input from experts about the extensive artworks in the building. The sessions are free of charge, but visitors are encouraged make donations to the repair work.
Project Architect, Gethin Harvey (of Nicolas Warns Architects) explained:
“Improvements to the rainwater disposal system will draw rainwater away from the building. In combination with the re-leading of the clerestory windows, this will help make the building weathertight and reduce the damp internal environment. This is essential to prevent decay of the precious historical fabric, especially the exquisite timber work. The angels, and also the carving of the Virgin Mary, all with original paintwork are very rare survivals. Their general inaccessibility is something which is likely to have saved them from damage during the reformation, so to be able to see them this close is a privilege.”
As well as safeguarding the building for the future, the community will also benefit from the creation of a new multi-purpose space in the chancel. All of this will make the church a much more flexible place for community events, concerts and meetings as well as regular worship.
St Agnes’ Church in Cawston is one of the most magnificent examples of medieval architecture in the country, complete with its internationally significant rood screen and angel-adorned hammerbeam roof. The immense building draws large numbers of visitors from across the world who come to marvel at the architecture and enjoy the peace and serenity of the building.
For more information about the hard hat days or to book please visit the www.st-agnes.org.uk. Please note that spaces are limited so please do book in advance through the church website.