ARTISTS will spend summer drawing in an ancient Swindon parish church to support a £1 million conservation project.

St Mary’s Church Lydiard Tregoze will play host to up to three artists, who will each be invited to spend six weeks in residence there between June and October 2019.

The artists will have the opportunity to draw in what is believed to be one of the most important parish churches in the UK.

St Mary’s has a renowned art collection from various eras, including a 17th century painted window by Dutchman Abraham van Linge.

Swindon College School of Art tutor Morgan Tipping, said: “The role of the artists will employ observational drawing to capture this historic moment and provide a record of what is uncovered.”

Chair of he St Mary’s conservation project Paul Gardner added: “The artist residence provides a unique and exciting opportunity to capture the conservation of the wall paintings as they are further revealed and the spirit of place in St Mary’s.”

The church restoration project is supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund and looks to conserve its medieval wallpaintings and historic interior.

Sarah Finch-Crisp, heritage advisor to St Mary’s, said: “Today we have another wonderful opportunity to create a permanent and valuable record of St Mary’s Church at this important point in its history.”

These voluntary positions will offer artists the opportunity to showcase their work in a six-week exhibition at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery in early 2020. It will also be featured in the St Mary’s online archive.

Vicar of St Mary’s Lydiard Tregoze Reverend Captain Clive Deverell said: “There will be so much interest in the work they produce by the church family and the wider community.

"I hope the residency will provide a meaningful and enjoyable experience for those who are chosen to participate.”

Artists based in Swindon and Wiltshire should ask for an application form via email at and submit it no later than May 3. Anyone who would like to apply for the residency must be over 19 years old.

The Friends of Lydiard Park, a charity supporting the conservation of Lydiard House and Park, is also looking for volunteers to help preserve the church. A minimum of two working weeks are required.

Anybody interested in attending the volunteering event on May 2 at Lydiard Park Conference Centre should email