Gorilla’s head leads to return of church relic

A cautionary tale of “church treasures”

Simon Jenkins comments: “[l]ike many Downland chapels, Coombes [Parish Church]seems to have been too insignificant to merit a dedication. It lies on a hillside overlooking the River Adur, reached through a farm, over a style and across a field, [England’s Thousand Best Churches, (1999, Allen Lane Penguin Press) 690]. However, it is well-known for its C12th wall paintings of the Lewes Cluniac school, although less so for its C13th bronze corpus figure from a medieval crucifix manufactured in Limoges. Nevertheless, there are several web references to the ~90mm  high corpus including an image of it hanging in a window recess above the pulpit.The corpus was stolen about four or five years ago his post traces the route by which it was finally returned, and the deliberations of the consistory court, Re Coombes Parish Church [2016] ECC Chi 5, on its future safe keeping.

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