On entering the church, the stunning roof grabs the attention. Maybe I walk into churches looking up towards the heavens…I don’t know but their roofs always seem to hit me first! Not literally I hasten to add. This one is spectacular. The roof, a canopy of honour shields the now empty site of the great rood. It has sixteen compartments, each carrying its own painted angel bearing either one of the instruments of the Passion, or a text from the Benedictus, with the opening sentences of the Te Deum at the base on either side. Over chancel and altar the roof is also ceiled.
Of all the furnishings of the church, the great medieval screen is of the greatest interest and is one of the most highly regarded of its kind. It was erected in 1480 and stretches right across the building. The section facing the north aisle is of the Nine Orders of Angels marshalled under the Archangel Gabriel. At one time this bore the inscription of the donor John Goodman and his wife Catherine requesting prayers for them both. The centre section facing the nave is devoted to the Apostles and the last section contains depictions of the Old Testament prophets.
The reredos is a delicately carved and sensitive portrayal of the earthly ministry of Our Lord blessing, teaching pardoning and serving. It was designed by Howard in 1929.
The lectern is another example of F.E. Howard’s great design genius. The shaft is octagonal while the figures of the evangelists and the buttresses in between take inspiration from the lectern formerly in St Crux, York, now to be found in All Saints, York.
And finally for this post, the trumpet stemmed Pulpit, one of the relatively few pre-Reformation examples to be found in the country. At the foot of the pulpit is a brass plate to Christopher Younges [ob 1626] the Southwold vicar whose Puritan children helped found Southold on Long Island.