In 2009 AAiC ran a series of workshops in Norfolk churches showcasing a number of arts and crafts from egg tempera painting to book binding, wood carving and thatching. School workshops looked at the heraldic devices and the use of recycled materials in designs.

Concentrating on 'The Painter of Angels', AAiC highlighted the wonders of the medieval rood screen and the use of wood, stone, egg tempera and enamel work in making angelic images.

In conjunction with the East Anglian Wall Paintings Database and the Medieval Graffiti Survey, this exhibition highlighted the diversity of amazing wall paintings and graffiti in East Anglian churches.

  • A Wall Paintings database.
    Today, many church interiors are seen as rather plain and austere. However, the inside of a medieval church was a very different place., filled with coloured wall paintings of saints, sinners and scenes from the bible. These vibrant images were far more than simple decoration, adding to the congregation's understanding of religion and the services they attended. Today less than 10% of churches in England have any surviving wall paintings. The English Wall Paintings Database aims to bring together high quality and fully searchable images of those that do survive. Supplemented by details about 'how they were made; who made them' and 'why they were made', this English Heritage funded project, aims to showcase the masterpieces of medieval art that still adorn our church walls.

  • For more information please go here

  • The Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey.
    Today the term 'graffiti' is thought of as destructive and anti-social. However, that simply wasn't the case in the past. Our medieval churches are full of early inscriptions, many of which have lain un-noticed for centuries. Ritual protection marks, prayers, curses, ships and memorials are commonly found in English and European churches. The Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey is an entirely volunteer led community archaeology project, that aims to record these intriguing inscriptions in the region's churches. The very first large -scale survey of its type, the NMGS is bringing to life the history of each parish church in an entirely new way and helping people discover history in a hands on way.

    For more information, please go here

To mark the anniversary of WWI in 2014, AAiC has devised a programme called Memento Mori 2014 to show some of the unusual and interesting memorials that were established after the war. AAiC now has a library of photos of memorials, taken by Mike Dixon, of memorials in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, Some of the memorials will be part of a series of church trails across the three counties to be published in August 2014. A number of churches taking part are already researching family histories and thinking about permanent memorial books. The Mill Road Cemetery in Cambridge is doing a major project on the large number of WWI graves in the Cemetery, some of which are Commonwealth ones. The Cambridge trail will include the Cemetery as well as central Cambridge churches and colleges.

We hope you will find the photos both interesting and useful. Please do get in touch if we can be of any help.

Churches have been short listed for selection by county:
County Archive images Church map
Norfolk Norfolk Archive images Norfolk Part1 & Part2
Suffolk Suffolk Archive images Suffolk church map
Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire Archive images Cambridgeshire church map

2015/2016 - 'Brass in Abundance'

Brass in Abundance is proposed as the next of AAIC’s projects on particular themes to interest and educate the public in religious heritage, art and artefacts in churches. Brass plays a very important part in the history of religious buildings from the medieval period to the Victorian era and beyond, including monumental brasses, lecterns, plate, lighting, crosses etc. and not forgetting music! The East Anglian counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are some of the best places to see such wonderful historical artefacts and to help to understand the cultural links with Belgium and The Netherlands in particular.

Brass in Abundance is scheduled to take place in the summer and autumn of 2016 in two centres, King's Lynn and Cambridge. King's Lynn for all things brass from the importation of brass through the port from Belgium in the Middle Ages, to the richness of monuments, lecterns in medieval churches, and the people connected to them. A major exhibition is planned alongside educational work. Cambridge will concentrate on the use of brass instruments for church and state occasions working with a prestigious brass ensemble. There will be an exhibition, workshops and talks as well as a concert.

The Re-Discovery of Religious Heritage today

Interpreting Religious Heritage: A team of US university students completed a very useful study on the interpretation of religious heritage in May 2015. This highlighted the need for churches to be more active in the interpretation of their churches for visitors, provision of information and access for people with disabilities, leading to greater footfall in important and historic buildings.

The full report can be read at wp.wpi.edu/london

Building Crafts and Conservation Trust (BCCT)

AAiC working with The College of West Anglia, King's Lynn has established the Building Crafts and Conservation Trust (BCCT) to develop a unique course for a BA (Hons) in Built Heritage Conservation Skills, combining practical heritage craft skills with academic study. Vital skills such as Stone Masonry, Flint Knapping, Lime Mortar, and Wood working, will be taught on an inclusive five year course which will start in 2017/18. To be taught across two sites in North West Norfolk, the course will give students qualifications from NVQ Level 3 to an Honours Degree, and give them the unique experience of practical working on estate buildings in BCCT's proposed Historic Buildings Centre.

Extensive research has shown that the UK is alarmingly short of people with the skills to maintain and restore our historic and heritage buildings, which number nearly half a million. The Heritage Sector generated £26.4 billion in 2014 from visitors and tourists and it is imperative that there are sufficient people with the correct skills to maintain the UK's unique and important historic buildings.

BCCT Project. A curriculum and business plan are in progress to be submitted for validation by Anglia Ruskin University winter 2015/2016.