“Selling the family silver”?: Re St Mary and All Saints Willingham

The Fenland village of Willingham owes its exceptionally interesting church partly to its location on a medieval processional route ran from Cambridge to the cathedral at Ely, whose bishop was a landowner and had a manor here“.

National Churches Trust

The consistory court of the diocese of Ely considered the church’s petition for authority to dispose of by sale a 16th century chalice and paten by a known Cambridge Silversmith, Thomas Buttelland, and a 17th century paten, Re St Mary and All Saints Willingham [2023] ECC Ely 4; these had been valued at £18,500, £8,500 and £5,500 respectively. Importantly in the context of this case, the Communion cup carried the inscription “For the town of Willingham” and the 17th century silver-footed Paten was engraved “Winelingham: Parish”. In neither case was there an indication of a donor [1,2]. Continue reading