Chalice sold to the British Museum for £1.3m: Church of England Newspaper, December 23, 2012 p 7. December 28, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: British Museum, Diocese of Bristol, Lacock Cup
A Wiltshire church has been given permission to sell a medieval silver cup to the British Museum by the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Bristol.
On 4 Dec 2012 the diocesan consistory court met at St Cyriac’s Church, Lacock to adjudicate a dispute over the sale of the “Lacock Cup”. The silver 15th century cup was given to the parish in the mid-Seventeenth century by Sir Robert Baynard, of Lackham Manor. Since 1963 the cup has been on loan to the British Museum.
The Museum had offered to purchase the cup for £1.3 million and churchwarden John Catchpole had petitioned for a faculty to allow the sale. However Geoffrey Fox (82) had led a village group objecting to the sale.
Nigel Lane, the Lacock PCC treasurer, said the sale was necessary to support the restoration of the parish church. “The income would help pay for any repair works for years to come,” he told the court.
Diocesan chancellor, the Rev. Justin Gau, who presided at the hearing, held that the cost and difficulty of obtaining appropriate insurance made it impossible to return the cup to the church and that, even if such insurance could be arranged, this would not be a good use of the PCC’s resources. He judged that funds would be better used for the maintenance of the church as a hub for mission.
The Archdeacon of Malmesbury, the Ven. Christine Froude, stated: “Although I am aware this case has generated strong feelings on both sides, I do think the very thoughtful and sensible judgement the Chancellor has given is the right one. It not only ensures the security and visibility of the cup to future generations but also, more importantly, allows the parish to focus its energy and resources on mission and outreach, safe in the knowledge that essential repairs to the building can be covered.”
The chancellor requested the parish set up a charitable trust to manage the funds from the sale and directed that a replica of the cup, costing no more than £5,000 be created for liturgical use by the church.
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.