May 22, 2024

Spring Newsletter ’24

Having completed the project to restore and protect our world famous stained glass windows, it became apparent just how shabby Church looked, with its pealing paint, and cracked plaster. Having spent many weeks on the North side, where we found part of the plaster ceiling had become dangerously loose, the South side is proving much quicker. Scaffolding will soon be erected over the Chancel to paint the ceiling blue, with gold stars. It is not uncommon to find stars on Chancel ceilings (as at St Olave’s). Indeed, the narrow strip beyond the High Altar is pale blue with painted, and faded stars. The plan is for the whole of the Nave and Chancel ceiling to be a medieval shade of “Azurite” blue, with medieval design stars on the Chancel ceiling in gold-leaf.
November 16, 2023

Autumn Newsletter ’23

The contract has now been placed, and sample panels for the different shades of blue for the Chancel ceiling have been ordered. The Chancel Arch, over the Rood Screen, will be painted in the same colour scheme as the Chancel ceiling. It was painted when it was first installed, with the Chancel Screen, in 1926 It seems odd now that the bright colours were painted over (possibly in the 1970’s) The Church Building Council has queried the darkness of the Nave Ceiling—we await advice on this, as re-painting the Nave ceiling was not originally within the scope of works.
August 14, 2023

Summer Newsletter ’23

Now that the windows have been fully restored, and preserved for future generations, it is time to think about re-painting the rather shabby looking walls. (Unlike earlier centuries, this only involves the inside of the building—the last of the white painted external plaster appears to have been removed in about 1860, though Dr Richards claims to have found segments below ground level on the medieval footings of the South Wall). The paintwork is particularly bad behind The High Altar, partly due to water ingress through the joints in the coping stones (now re-fixed).
May 19, 2023

Spring Newsletter ’23

The Font is once more, as in medieval times placed near to the main entrance - and visible from both entrances (indeed all three medieval entrances, for there is a blocked doorway at the East End of the South Aisle). This is as it should be, since the font represents the spiritual way into The Church, through Baptism. The canopy over the font is of 20th century construction, designed by the architect George Pace (died in York 23rd August 1975) and based on one he designed for Liverpool Cathedral.
March 23, 2022

Spring Newsletter ’22

Work has continued (with the help of The Heritage Lottery Fund) - not only on the stained glass, but stone repairs to two of the North Aisle Windows, the now completed “Kitchen in a cupboard” unit at the back of the South Aisle, and the display stands for information cards on not just the windows, but the myriad of fascinating features in “York’s Finest Medieval Church”. These information sheets, and “trail maps” around the building should all be completed in the next couple of months. Work on the Windows of the Lady Chapel has now been completed.