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Telephone: 01603 270769
Ranworth Church
Woodbastwick Road
Ranworth
NR13 6HT
Church opening times:
9.30am - 5.30pm daily
Between 1st October - 1st April
church closes at dusk

Illuminated Pages

The Christmas initial depicts the Christ child lying in a manger which is radiant in gold.Two shepherds peer over the manger-boards while the third looses his hat while rushing to the scene. Joseph is depicted as an older man as according to tradition and the middle shepherd has an 'East Anglian frame' in the style of his beard.  

The coming of the wise men at Epiphany, January 6th. Here they are depicted as kings bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Note the tiled floor also appears in a number of the illuminations and  under the feet of the Apostles in the rood screen.the paintings in the rood screen. 

Ascension Day. As Christ ascends from the mountain top Jesus's disciples and Mary pray and look up to Heaven. On the right-hand side are two tonsured saints who are either monks or clergy look upwards with the others as Jesus ascends through a hole in the firmament leaving only his footprints on the grassy mound. 

Pentecost (Whit Sunday). In the New Testament the Holy Spirit is given to the Apostles inside a locked room in Jerusalem. Here it takes place outdoors and while Mary and the Apostles gather in prayer, the Holy Spirit descends upon them in tongues of flame and is depicted here as a dove.  

The Trinity Sunday initial shows the "Mercy-Seat" depiction of the Holy Trinity. God the Father is seated with Jesus his crucified son in front of him and the Holy Spirit hovering over his head. The Father's right hand is raised in blessing while his left rests on the cross beam of the crucifix.

Feast of Corpus Christi illumination. This celebration took place on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday as a thanksgiving for the Real Presence of Christ at the Mass. The initial shows a priest elevating a consecrated host [wafer] during Mass while the deacon and sub deacon support the weight of his blue chasuble. Mediaeval lay people only received communion twice a year normally, but believed they would receive God's grace by looking at the consecrated host.

Another Trinity illumination. The Father shares the throne with the Son, whose wounds are visible beneath his royal cloak. The Father's face and hands are covered in gold leaf, and the Holy Spirit, represented by a dove, flies between them. 

This illuminated 'D' shows the figure of King David as a mediaeval monarch. The lozenged tiled floor and upright treatment of the figure is similar to the treatment of the 12 Apostles on the Rood Screen.

Jonah, calmed perhaps by God's benign expression, prays as the whale swallows him. The illumination has a local setting, with marshes and a pike-like whale. 

An illumination showing clerks and a young novice singing from a service book on a cantor's desk. 

This initial from the Psalter shows a figure of King David playing his harp under a royal canopy and flanked by his courtiers in Jerusalem. 

Feast of Saint Andrew (November 30th). Andrews martyrdom takes place on his distinctive saltire cross with woodland and meadow background.

Initial for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (August 15th). At the end of her earthly life, Mary is carried bodily into heaven by Angels where she will reign as Queen.

The Nativity of the Virgin Mary (September 8th). In contrast to the Christmas Nativity scene Mary's mother, Saint Anne, lies in a canopied bed attended by a midwife.

A precession circling a newly consumated church with the Bishop at the back. This particular illumination marks the beginning of the Dedication Festival.

Feast of the All Saints (November 1st). A very unusual illustration of God the Father shielding his haloed Saints under his Mantle. Normally this grouping shelters under Mary's cloak.