Church seeks to sell Norman relic

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The Independent Online
A CONSISTORY court is to be asked to allow a parish church to sell off its most valuable possession - the remains of a Norman crucifix found hidden in the tower.

Experts believe the hand-painted wooden head and foot of the crucified Christ, found in the tower of All Hallows Church at South Cerney, Gloucestershire, in 1915, could fetch pounds 60,000.

The relics are in the care of the British Museum but church officials want to sell them to the museum and use the proceeds to help pay for repairs and maintenance.

The Chancellor of the Gloucester Diocese, June Rodgers, a barrister, will today convene a special consistory court in the 12th-century church to decide whether to allow the relics to be sold. The vicar, the Rev John Calvert, said: 'The most important reason for the sale is to safeguard the future of the fragments for the nation in the British Museum as the conditions in which they would be held in the church would cause further deterioration.'

Any money from the sale would be put in a trust fund to be used for the repair and improvement of the church and its ministry.