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St John Church, Metfield

Text taken from www.suffolkchurches.co.uk

"If you have visited Metfield, you will never forget the slow, steady ticking of the early 17th century clock which fills the nave. You can see the mechanism through the gates in the tower arch. It was already more than two hundred years old when Sarah Godbold did her birthday walk around the streets of Metfield.

The interior of the nave is light and open, the furnishings all modern, but attractive. There's a lovely west gallery put up in the 18th century, and below it are surviving panels from the medieval rood screen, still with their original paint. When Peter Dickinson was revising the Little Guide in the 1950s, these were still in situ within the chancel arch, but the chancel has been reordered simply and skilfully, and is even fuller of light than the nave.

 

The greatest treasure of Metfield church is above the east end of the nave. This is the finest surviving medieval canopy of honour in East Anglia. It surmounted the rood, the crucified Christ flanked by the Blessed Virgin and St John, which was destroyed by the Anglican reformers in the middle of the 16th century. On large panels, roundels contain the monograms IHC and AMR are surrounded by flowers and foliage, all rendered in red and green. It is reminiscent of the roof of the chapel at Bury St Mary, and is absolutely haunting.