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.”