Church among first in UK to commission new King’s coat of arms

A Suffolk church has unveiled a painting of the new royal coat of arms of King Charles III – thought to be the first commissioned in the county.

The coat of arms, at St Mary’s Church in Raydon, was unveiled at a special service by Judge John Devaux, a trustee of the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust – the organisation which provided grant funding for the piece. The artwork, created by Suffolk calligrapher and artist David Truzzi-Franconi, now hangs on the west wall of the church.

Rev Manette Crossman, Rector of the 4-Mary's Benefice, said: “A member of our congregation had been saying the west wall was looking a bit bare and white and was keen to use the space. We had originally applied for a grant to get a royal coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate her Jubilee, but she sadly passed away before work on the piece began. We were still keen on having a coat of arms in church so decided to get the new King’s instead. Because of this, we believe the new royal coat of arms is the first commissioned in the county. We had a beautiful unveiling service attended by more than 60 people. It was a wonderful event – the church was full and we had some lovely music to accompany it. Raydon Church gets lots of visitors and we hope they enjoy seeing the painting.”

The project was initiated by Parochial Church Council and congregation member Bill Woods-Ballard and led by Churchwarden Geoff Horrex and Assistant Warden Simon Tennent.

As the royal coat of arms is expected to grace the wall of the church for years to come, special techniques were used to ensure its longevity.

David Truzzi-Franconi said: “The piece is made with oil paint on Italian linen canvas which has been treated with Gesso plaster – a very ancient technique. Churches can be cold and damp environments so any artwork needs to pass the test of time – this piece has been created with centuries in mind. It’s nice to think the coat of arms will be in the church for decades to come.”

Edmund Harris, Diocesan Advisory Committee Secretary added: “They’re rare in any diocese and a new piece of fine art in a church is always something to celebrate.”

For more on the benefice, see

Page last updated: Tuesday 30th January 2024 10:08 AM
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