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Ancient cross found in Louth undergrowth

29 April 2016

Photos © St James’s, Louth

Rockery: one of the fragments in situ

Rockery: one of the fragments in situ

FRAGMENTS from a tenth-century Anglo-Saxon stone cross have been discovered in the garden of a rectory in Lincolnshire.

One stone was discovered during maintenance work at the rectory of St James’s, Louth; the second was found by the verger, Christopher Marshall.

Historians said that the stones were proof that Louth was an important centre for Christianity in medieval times.

Mr Marshall believes that the stones are the earliest Christian artefacts to be found in the town. It is thought that the cross would have been on a three-to-four-metre plinth.

“The cross was erected at a very important time in the development of Louth and the Early Church. So far, it is the only tangible evidence that has been found from that period,” Mr Marshall said.

Built in the 15th century, St James’s, on Eastgate, has a 90-metre-high spire. The discovery of the cross provides a link between the present church, an eighth- and ninth-century Anglo-Saxon monastery, and the town’s tenth-century shrine to the Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Lindsey St Herefrith.

The Rector, the Revd Nick Brown, said: “It is truly inspiring to find an object that may have been a focus for devotion and prayer many centuries ago here in Louth.”

Conservation work will begin on the stones in summer. They will be displayed in the church later this year.

Job of the Week


Priest in Charge (Rector Designate)

London and Home Counties

Our suburban parish on the border between the London Borough of Croydon and the lovely Surrey countryside and with a spacious modern Rectory, is seeking a Priest-in-Charge (Rector Designate) to lead our church as we seek to fulfil our mission to proclaim Jesus, change lives and serve our community.   We are looking for a leader who, with energy and dynamism, who will develop the vision for the church to enable the children and families work to be a priority in order to grow the church both in numbers and spiritual maturity. In addition, the new person will care and tend for the existing ageing congregation many of whom have ¬faithfully served the church for many years.   The person we are looking for should have: strong communication skills, the ability to engage and encourage people across the age ranges and to convey the church’s mission, vision and priorities; a commitment to preach the Word of God in thoughtful and stimulating ways; an energy and dynamism probably more extrovert than introvert; a pastoral heart, showing empathy and good listening skills, the ability, willingness and experience to help us to develop and enjoy a variety of worship styles, including a wider range of musical worship and a deeper corporate prayer life -whilst recognising and valuing our heritage;   For further information and to apply, please click the 'apply for this job' button below.   For an informal conversation with the Archdeacon of Croydon, please contact the Archdeacon’s PA Kathleen.bailey@southwark.anglican.org to arrange a time for a phone conversation.   Closing Date: Sunday 12 June 2022 Parish Visit for shortlisted candidates: Monday 11 July 2022 Interviews: Monday 11 July 2022   Please note we have a policy in Southwark Diocese that to be appointed to an incumbent status post, a priest must have served a title in an Anglican church in the British Isles.   This post is subject to DBS enhanced disclosure

Forthcoming Events

2 July 2022
Bringing Down the Mighty: Church, Theology and Structural Injustice
With Anthony Reddie, Azariah France-Williams, Mariama Ifode-Blease, Luke Larner, Will Moore, Stewart Rapley and Victoria Turner.

4-8 July 2022
HeartEdge Mission Summer School
From HeartEdge and St Augustine’s College of Theology.

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