They are rare. Many of the paintings done on the walls of medieval churches were painted over or destroyed during the Reformation (*shakes fist at Henry VIII*). But this one in the tiny St. Nicholas church in Stanningfield, England, is slated to get a £40,000 grant to replace its leaking roof which jeopardizes the already damaged doom painting on the arch separating the nave from the chancel.
The picture denotes the Last Judgment with Jesus on a rainbow flanked by the apostles, with the dead below him as skeletons waiting to be judged, always something cheerful to look at while at prayers.
According to the Bury Free Press, 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.”
But even after the award of the £40,000 (that will come from National Heritage and the National Lottery) an additional £25,000 is still needed to complete the work.
It is believed that the painting was done in the fourteenth century by monks from Bury St. Edmunds Abbey.