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No faffing about by Feoffees

02 November 2006

THE FEOFFEES of St Michael's, Spurriergate, are the trustees of a charitthat helps the restoration of churches in York. Now they havgiven a total of 150,000 towards the restoration of the east front of YorMinster, 50,000 in March 2005, and now another 100,000.

In all, the work is going to need close to 30 million, says the ChapteSteward, Canon Peter Lyddon. Not only is the wall leaning out by 2 ft 6 insbut the stonework has been eroded in places to the depth of five inches. Thworst damage was done, he tells me, during the Industrial Revolution and thgreat days of York's railway industry. Since that heavy coal-fired pollutiohas lessened, the erosion has slowed down; so he is hopeful that the work thais now getting under way will last several centuries.

It will be more complicated than the mammoth restoration of the west frontonly recently completed. Chief among the concerns is the huge east window, abig as a tennis court, and the largest single area of medieval glass in thworld. Most unusually, its painter is known. It was created in the early 15tcentury by John Thornton of Coventry, who was paid 58 with a 10 bonus focompleting it on time. When it is taken out so that the stone tracery can breplaced and restored, "experts will come from all over Europe and beyond texamine it

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