Stanley Spencer ‘found’ at Cookham

Radio 4’s Any Questions? comes from Cookham tonight which reminds us that the Cookham Festival starts today and runs to Bank Holiday Monday 4 May.

The Sunday service on Radio 4 is coming live from Cookham Church this weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of Stanley Spencer’s death.

Canon David Winter who is preaching at the service has been wondering where the artist was buried. He could not find anyone who remembered although the funeral was of course in the church.

The answer has been found just in time. Yes, Stanley Spencer is buried in the churchyard he depicted in his painting The Resurrection. But he was cremated so it is his ashes which lie there.

I claim (page 103) that he is buried just to the left of the Thames Path which runs through the churchyard. David Winter says that the ashes are “probably under the present memorial stone”.

The summer exhibition at the Stanley Spencer Gallery opens next Wednesday.

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