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Sharing His Love
We recommend that you buy the Guidebook to get the full benefit of your visit to St Michael's but here are a few key features to look for:
The Heaton Memorial Window
Dating from 1991, this window in the north aisle by John Clark is a dramatic interpretation
"The Benedicite", a Biblical poem which speaks of all creation praising God. Look for details such as
the Mothers' Union badge, the cricket bat and ball and the family pets that link the window
to Arthur and Biddy Heaton's interests. Both a postcard and a leaflet explaining the work in detail
are available on the Bookstall in the church.
The painting of the Last Supper
On the East wall of the Church, this large painting is a copy of the work by Leonardo da Vinci in Milan. It was painted in 1824 by a Ledbury artist, Thomas Ballard, as a direct copy of the near original copy of Leonardo's work which is owned by the Royal Academy. The painting shows the moment at the Last Supper when Jesus tells his disciples that one of them would betray him.
These unusual windows, high up on the walls of the chancel would originally have been external windows before the side chapel roofs were raised to their present height. In the days before most windows were of glass, these openings would have let plenty of light into the chancel, especially as the inner splayed walls would have been whitewashed. At the same time, very little rain would have been able to find its way into the chancel.
Memorial Stones on the floors
Over 200 memorial (ledger) stones cover the floors of the church, giving a fascinating
insight into the lives and occupations of Ledbury residents in the past. It is by
no means only the wealthy who are recorded here -
The Skynner family tomb
On the right hand wall of the sanctuary, this 17th century monument records the lives of Edward and Elizabeth Skynner, who both lived into their 80s. Elizabeth is wearing a hat that would not disgrace someone attending a wedding today! Their baby, who died young, is shown between their kneeling figures, and their five sons and five daughters who survived to adulthood are below. Edward was one of a group of wealthy clothiers who between them are responsible for building many of the fine houses of Ledbury.
Tapestry kneelers and cushions
A major project during the 1980s provided the pews with an outstanding collection of tapestry kneelers and cushions, including this one to be seen in one of the Churchwardens' stalls. Don't miss the stalls of the chancel where the individually chosen designs of choirmen of the time and cushions showing some famous buildings of Ledbury can be seen.
The Bells and Clock
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