Friday, 12 November 2010

Vernicle


Snarford 3, originally uploaded by Vitrearum (Allan Barton).
This is such a striking image, one of the panels of the fifteenth century font at the remote church at Snarford in Lincolnshire. A full frontal head of Christ entirely fills one panel of the octaganonal font.  This image probably derives from the popular late image known as the 'Vernicle'. The Vernicle was a reproduction of the cloth, which tradition asserts, was used by St Veronica to wipe the face of Christ on his way to the cross and was found to be miraculously marked with the imprint of his face. It was an image that grew in popularity in the late Middle Ages and with the invention of printing the Vernicle became a popular domestic devotional item.

Snarford, Lincolnshire

Next to this image on the Snarford font is a representation of the arma christi, a shield charged with the cross and two scourges.

Friday, 5 November 2010

'and the chauncels shall remain ...

as they have done in tymes past', so states the rubric before Morning Prayer in the 1559 Book of Common Prayer. At Snarford in Lincolnshire, Sir Thomas St Pol, seems to have made a very specific statement as to how he wanted the chancel of his parish church to 'remain' and it was a radical break from the medieval past. When he died in 1582, his canopied monument was erected right at the east of the chancel as close as practicable to the east wall. Thus leaving no room for the reconstruction of a stone altar or even the positioning of the holy table 'altarwise' at the east end of the chancel. The holy table must have stood west of his monument in the body of the church and presumably lengthways, the space is now occupied with a twentieth century 'English' altar. On the monument itself Sir Thomas and his wife Faith are portrayed as very much people of the Reformation, clasping their prayer books to their chests.

Snarford, Lincolnshire