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St Edmund, Downham Market
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Edmund, Downham Market
The most significant of these is the set of 15th century glass panels set in the west window below the ringing chamber. They include figures from the orders of angels as well as angel musicians, a fragment of figures rising out of the mouth of hell from a Harrowing of Hell image, as well as another fragment of the dead rising from their graves.
Set in front of the tower arch is a fine 15th Century font, the angels on the panels holding shields bearing symbols of Saints and of the Instruments of Passion. The low west gallery cuts off the top of the tower arch, but turning east it creates a sense of the church opening out, and a walk towards the chancel is from darkness into light. An enormous glass chandelier fills the nave, while the aisles spread into mysterious shadows beyond the arcades, which are quite different from each other, the south aisle being a curious mixture of arches, the north uniform.
The east end of the south aisle opens out beside the chancel to form a Lady Chapel. Again, the furnishings of chancel and this chapel reflect the Anglo-catholic enthusiasm over the decades here, a reminder that, despite the Evangelical reputation of the Diocese of Ely, there are some pretty spectacular churches from the other wing of the Church of England to be found.
Simon Knott, September 2009
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