A PAINTING from the 14th century will be saved from water damage thanks to a grant from English Heritage and the National Lottery.
St Nicholas’ Church, Stanningfield, has been awarded a £40,000 grant to replace its leaking roof.
Water coming through the roof has been threatening to damage a rare medieval doom painting on the arch separating the nave from the chancal.
The painting, depicting the Last Judgement, shows Jesus sat on top of a rainbow with the apostles to either side of him.
Below him, the dead rise from scattered skeletons to be judged.
Gerry Biggs, warden of the church, said: “The painting has been there a long time, everyone involved with the church is quite proud of it and the fact that there might be something happening to it is quite worrying.
“The painting itself is not in great condition as a lot of the paintwork has come off, but it is still impressive considering how long it has been there.”
The £40,000 grant will go towards the cost of replacing the chancel roof which is currently leaking and exposing the painting to damp.
Mr Biggs said: “It’s been a huge worry.
“We have been trying to secure the funding for three years and its huge relief to know that the work will be completed next year.”
A further £25,000 will need to be raised by the church to complete the work and protect the painting.
The parochial church council hopes to do this by applying for further grants and fund-raising in the local community.
The painting is believed to have been painted by monks from Bury St Edmunds Abbey in the 14th century.
It was not unusual for monks from the abbey to paint religious scenes on the walls of surrounding churches, however the majority of these works were destroyed or painted over during the reformation.
The doom painting at St Nicholas’ Church, Stanningfield, is one of a few remaining examples in the region and draws many visitors each year.