Magazine clue brings treasured painting back to Woodkirk Church

Rev Amanda Barraclough with the painting of Woodkirk Parish Church.
Rev Amanda Barraclough with the painting of Woodkirk Parish Church.

A magazine cutting left on the vicar’s desk has led a congregation to a treasured painting of its church.

The Rev Amanda Barraclough of St Mary’s Parish Church in Woodkirk was curious to see a photograph of a painting which resembled what her church would have looked like 600 years ago.

“I saw the picture which said it was the interior of Woodkirk Church. I scouted around and found that it was in a gallery in London,” she said.

The painting had been spotted in The Oldie magazine by a friend of churchwarden Malcolm Haigh.

The congregation had a meeting and decided that they could not miss out on an “exciting” piece of history.

Mrs Barraclough said: “We wanted to be able to bring it home. It opened a window into what the church looked like - it showed the interior of the church in 1830s.

She contacted the Abbott & Holder gallery, which is based opposite the British Museum, and negotiated a price of £2,000.

The generous parish donated £500 to part-pay for the painting.

“If we didn’t grab the opportunity to buy it, we might never get it,” said Mrs Barraclough.

A member of the congregation travelled to London to collect the sentimental masterpiece.

The painting is currently being stored in a house until the appropriate space and insurance is in place.

Mrs Barraclough said: “We’re very excited by this find.

“It is now in the parish for the first time ever.”