Lament I: Vessels & Other Objects from the Vestry of St. Gregory’s Church, Heckingham, 2022-2023
The history and function of a church vestry are deeply intertwined with the evolution of religious institutions and their administrative structures. Originating in medieval times, the vestry served as a meeting place for clergy and lay members to discuss matters of both spiritual and practical importance. Over the centuries, its role expanded to encompass various administrative tasks within the church community. The vestry was traditionally responsible for managing church finances, maintaining the physical property, and overseeing the allocation of resources for charitable works and parish needs.
The church of St. Gregory’s, Heckingham, dates from the 12th Century but has been redundant since the 1990’s. Its vestry, however, still retains many of its items and objects used in the liturgy and daily running of the church. Surplus and showing signs of neglect, I photographed the objects from the church’s vestry. Placed into a niche set into the church wall, each picture took on the attributes of an installation, documenting not only a fading world of faith and community, but also with each acting as a contemporary and personal memento mori's of profound loss.