Churchwarden's Staffs - St Mary - Burstall, Suffolk
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 03.598 E 001° 03.464
31U E 366847 N 5769488
Quick Description: The Churchwardens’ Staves in St Mary's church, Burstall.
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/25/2020 2:09:19 AM
Waymark Code: WM12P6A
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 1

Long Description:
The Churchwardens’ Staves in St Mary's church, Burstall.
The wardens’ symbol of office is their staves [or wands], originally sharp pointed sticks used to prod people and/or dogs, and were known as 'prodders' in the 1600s.

The post of churchwarden is one of great antiquity that dates back to the 13th century.

This pair of staves are engraved and seem to be dedicated to an Aileen Clayton (1918 - 1981).

They are more usually found midway down the centre aisle of the church, on the end of the pews.

"These liturgical items reflect a time when a sceptre or staff was carried to demonstrate a person’s importance and reinforce standing. But the staff also had practical purposes, including the Wardens’ now “near-obsolete” duty of keeping the peace and commanding good behaviour and decorum in the church and churchyard. Early duties of a Church Warden involved putting a stop to rowdiness and in some cases, fining and apprehending churchgoers who were being boisterous, riotous, or indecent. On the other extreme, the Warden’s staff was also used to lightly tap parishioners to wake them during services.

Though still used ceremonially in a few Anglican churches or carried by the Wardens during processions at Easter or Christmas, the staffs are rarely removed from their places anymore."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Approximate age of artefact (Year): 1981

Times available for viewing: Daytime hours

Entrance fee (if applicable), local currency: 0

Relevant website: Not listed

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