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News and views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
Issue 4 Winter 2007

Fig 2.

... continued (Dark Jewels)

Unique to St Marys
Woodbridge has two other motifs of note. One takes the form of an elaborate chalice with host suspended over the bowl, and a crown above (see Fig. 2). This symbolizes the churchs status as repository of the consecrated Eucharistic elements, domain of the priest who administered them and who was responsible for effecting their transubstantiation, and as setting of the Mass.

Fig 3.

On the west side of the porch there is also a monstrance with a cross symbolizing the consecrated host in the centre of its eye and a radiance around it (see Fig. 3). This is not found anywhere else in flushwork. As it stands it is a product of modern restoration. Whether or not it replaced a medieval image of a monstrance we cannot know. Its age, in any case, surely matters less than its meaning.

Readers interested to learn more should consult John Blatchly & Peter Northeast, Decoding Flint Flushwork on Suffolk and Norfolk Churches (Ipswich: The Suffolk Institute of Archaeology & History, 2005). This is an excellent gazetteer of churches with surviving flushwork.

Text & photographs © Julian M Luxford, 2007