Music Discovered At The Church

In the 1920s during the restoration of the church, the organ was moved to its present position away from the south wall.

Behind it in the old rood screen stair arch was a pile of centuries of books, manuscripts and accounts dating all the way back to the fifteenth century.  The oldest parish register, dating from 1538, the start of the reformation was wrapped in this music manuscript. 

On October 12th 2008, this music was heard for the first time in 500 years.  It was sung by Jennie Cassidy, performing with Horses Brawl. The beautiful lilting chant soared hauntingly into the rafters of the candlelit church, forming a fleeting link with the world of the Paston family.   Jennie has researched the document and has found that it is part of the book of Judith, from the Apocrypha.  In translation it would say:  'Hear, O hear me, God of my father, God of the inheritance of Israel, Lord of heaven and earth, creator of the waters, King of all thy creation, hear my prayer."

 

Discovery At Paston Church

In unexplored space
between what is known
and what is unseen

books become bricks
building a secret, unexpected history
higher and higher
over centuries

Set aside like finished fields
the records remain
not dead but sleeping

and at the root of it all
the music of years emptied
and thrown away

Now all this bursts into light
singing and dancing
a new body
a kind of resurrection

poem by Tim Lenton