Lancashire church to feature in Fake or Fortune art show

SHOW: Rev. Mark Cannon, Fiona Bruce, Philip Mould and Jane Greenhalgh
SHOW: Rev. Mark Cannon, Fiona Bruce, Philip Mould and Jane Greenhalgh

A painting which has hung in a north Lancashire church for more than 200 years is featured in the latest Fake or Fortune investigation this Sunday on BBC1.

The popular programme, presented by Fiona Bruce and art expert Philip Mould, will hope to reveal the provenance of the mysterious work of art.

Each week Fake or Fortune forensically examines a painting that could be by a noted artist. So far in this latest series works which were thought to be by Lowry and Renoir have featured.

This week the ancient picture-postcard Grade 1 listed church of St John the Baptist in Tunstall, once patronised by the Bronte sisters. The church is on the edge of Lancashire, near Arkholme, not far from the Yorkshire Dales,

The vicar of the parish, Rev. Mark Cannon and other parishioners including churchwarden Jane Greenhalgh feature as the investigation gets under way.

The huge Renaissance-style painting depicts the aftermath of Christ’s crucifixion.

Presenter Fiona said: “It’s thanks to Jane, the churchwarden, that this painting was brought to our attention. It was a mystery they wanted us to investigate.

“(The painting) was filthy and dark and had been in the church since the mid-1800s but that was all that was known about it.”

Jane added: “They came to see the painting before Christmas and soon decided it was a goer. We started filming in March.

“As part of the filming work I’ve had the good fortune to go to Cambridge and see the picture forensically examined and infra-red photographs taken of it which was fascinating.”