Archbishop of York preaches in Bamburgh
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, joined the congregation and friends of St Aidan's Church in Bamburgh on Sunday.
He led and preached at a service of Holy Communion and rededicate two newly-restored hatchments.
The restoration follows a successful appeal for help to repair and conserve the historic items.
Bamburgh resident Charles Baker-Cresswell, who took the lead in the restoration appeal, said: “I am delighted that our appeal has gone so well and we are able to conserve two of the hatchments within St Aidan’s Church.
“They provide a valuable glimpse into our local history, as much as gravestones, monuments and stained glass windows do.
“I would like to thank all those who contributed to the appeal and to praise the work done by Annabelle Remnant who has undertaken the restoration – she has done a fantastic job and the hatchments are safe for many years to come.”
The two restored hatchments date from the 1700s and are in memory of Sir William Forster and Thomas Forster.
A hatchment is a coat of arms painted on canvas and surrounded by a broad black-painted wooden border, often hung over the door of a person of distinction who had recently died.
After a period of around six months it was moved to the local parish church and hung high on the wall to remind the congregation to pray for that person.
The tradition of hanging hatchments in parish churches to commemorate distinguished figures after their death began in the early 17th century.
While many hatchments still hang in English churches, the installation of a new one is now a very rare event although, in 2011, a new hatchment was installed at the church to commemorate the late Captain Joe Baker-Cresswell, father of Charles, who died in 1997.
The event precedes a busy few days in the Diocese of Newcastle which is welcoming the Archbishop of York, 26 bishops and their visiting teams from September 6-9 for its Pathways Mission, beginning on Holy Island.