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Century-old time capsule is discovered during church renovations

PUBLISHED: 15:50 14 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:50 14 September 2019

A century-old time capsule has been discovered in a Southwold church.  The time capsule. Picture: Courtesy of The Sacred Heart Church

A century-old time capsule has been discovered in a Southwold church. The time capsule. Picture: Courtesy of The Sacred Heart Church

Archant

A church restoration has led to a fascinating find, as a time capsule from almost a century ago has been discovered.

A century-old time capsule has been discovered in a Southwold church. Parishioner Trisha Scott looking at the contents of the 1923 time capsule. Picture: Courtesy of The Sacred Heart ChurchA century-old time capsule has been discovered in a Southwold church. Parishioner Trisha Scott looking at the contents of the 1923 time capsule. Picture: Courtesy of The Sacred Heart Church

The capsule was found buried underneath the pulpit of The Sacred Heart Church in Southwold during renovations.

Dating back to 1923, when the church was being built, contractors found the time capsule from nearly 100 years ago as they carry out works to repair and renovate the building.

The glass bottle has now been opened and it contained newspapers, early 20th Century coins and a scroll in Latin which were planted by the parish priest all those years ago.

The artefacts had been placed in what is believed to have been a milk bottle, sealed with a cork and wax.

The Latin scroll is dated May 15, 1923 and includes the names of the Pope (Pius XI) and the Bishop of Northampton.

Also featured is the names of the donor of the pulpit and of the parish priest, Fr Henry St Leger Mason, who buried the capsule.

He had also included six pages from the May 15, 1923 edition of The Times, three coins and a photograph of himself.

Cedric Burton is overseeing the repairs and he said some of the items will be hidden again in a new time capsule.

He said: "Sadly the photograph (of Fr Henry) has degraded quite considerably but seems to be of him holding the time capsule.

"Work will be undertaken to attempt to enhance the image.

"After work to conserve the contents and copies being taken, we plan to add items reflecting the current period in the church's history and to bury it all under a new ambo which is being made from the pulpit's stonework."

The renovation work being carried out is part of a £220,000 project, funded with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, to renovate and restore the church on Wymering Road.

This is likely to include new lighting, digital technology and a viewing platform in the tower.

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