St Mary’s Church, in Raydon, near Hadleigh, among first in UK to feature King Charles III’s new coat of arms
A Suffolk church has unveiled a painting of King Charles III’s new coat of arms, believed to be one of the first in the country to do so.
The mural was revealed in a special service by Judge John Devaux at St Mary’s Church in Raydon, near Hadleigh.
The artwork was created by Suffolk calligrapher David Truzzi-Franconi, and funded by the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust, of whom Judge Devaux is a trustee.
It is the first church in Suffolk to have the new royal coat of arms, and amongst the first nationwide.
Reverend Manette Crossman, Rector of the 4-Mary's Benefice, said: “We had originally applied for a grant to get a royal coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate her Jubilee, but she sadly passed away before work on the piece began.
“We were still keen on having a coat of arms in church so decided to get the new King’s instead; because of this, we believe we the new royal coat of arms is the first commissioned in the county.
“We had a beautiful unveiling service attended by more than 60 people – it was a wonderful event, the church was full and we had some lovely music to accompany it.”
Reverend Crossman also said the church receives a lot of visitors, and they hope that new visitors enjoy seeing His Majesty’s new coat of arms.
The church community had noted its west wall was looking bare, and the coat of arms would be the perfect gap-filler.
Calligrapher David Truzzi-Franconi said: “The piece is made with oil paint on Italian linen canvas which has been treated with Gesso plaster – a very ancient technique.
“Churches can be cold and damp environments so any artwork needs to pass the test of time – this piece has been created with centuries in mind.
“It’s nice to think the coat of arms will be in the church for decades to come.”
The project was initiated by Parochial Church Council and congregation member Bill Woods-Ballard and led by Churchwarden Geoff Horrex and Assistant Warden Simon Tennent.
Special techniques were used in the painting of the coat of arms to help ensure its longevity.
Edmund Harris, Diocesan Advisory Committee Secretary added: “They’re rare in any diocese and a new piece of fine art in a church is always something to celebrate.”