The Somerset Churches Trust supports St Cuthbert’s Church Event Saturday 19th March 2022
St Cuthbert’s Church in Wells is holding a special celebration of their extraordinary painted statues on Saturday 19th March from 10.00am to 4.00pm. These statues are 550 years old and survived a determined attempt to destroy them during the reformation. Trustees of the Somerset Churches Trust visited St Cuthbert’s recently to learn more about this stunning collection of statuary.
In 2020 the extraordinary painted statues of St Cuthbert’s Church should have celebrated their 550th birthday but we all know what happened that year! We tried to hold the celebration a year late in 2021 but yet again we were defeated by covid. So here we go with a third attempt – on Saturday 19th March 2022 from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
Back in 1470, of course, it would have been quite usual to have plans messed up by an outbreak of plague, so the medieval fragments of prophets and princes will probably be very forgiving about the delay to their party caused by our modern pandemic! These unique painted statue fragments have already had an amazing history. They were destroyed in the Reformation and hidden behind plaster until 1848 when they were re-discovered. Miraculously they were kept and now form probably the largest collection of 15th century painted sculptures in the country.
The celebration event takes the form of a study day looking at the story of these rare survivors from quarried stone to a digital future. Church archaeologist, Jerry Sampson, is one of the speakers; together with Lynne Humphries and Emma Norris who are experts in medieval paint. There will be a demonstration of stone carving and local chamber choir, the Swan Singers, will perform a short concert of appropriate music. The day will end with a son et lumière when a light display will give a glimpse into the stones’ colourful past and future.
The cost of the day (including coffee and a soup lunch) is £15.