A rare Catholic artefact dating back to the 1600s could go on display in the Harris.Advertisement
Prestonians are being urged to help support a campaign to buy the piece of treasure found in a field near the M61.
The Friends of the Harris group needs to find £1,250 to purchase the pyx.
It was used to carry consecrated communion wafers at a time when Catholic worship was illegal and had to take place in secret.
The silver object, which includes the symbol of the lamb for Preston, was probably dropped by a priest on the way to take mass.
It was found by a metal detectorist in 2015 and has been declared by the British Museum to be a treasure.
The Harris has been invited to buy the pyx, which costs £1,000, and additional funds will go towards displaying the treasure in the Harris.
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Chair of the Friends of the Harris Greta Krypczyk-Oddy said: “The pyx is a truly fascinating part of Lancashire’s history and we have already had lots of interest from our members. We have been very successful in raising money from the public for the Harris in the past and we are confident that this appeal will inspire many people to contribute to keeping this treasure in its rightful home.”
Donations can be made via The Big Give website and anyone donating will be invited to a celebratory event in the Harris if they are successful in securing the pyx. Donations can also be made at the Harris shop.
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Cabinet member for culture and leisure services councillor Peter Kelly said: “If the campaign is successful, the pyx will be put on display in the Harris’ Discover Preston gallery where it
will help to tell stories about the Preston Lamb, ‘Priest Town’ and the local Jacobites – areas where the Harris has limited artefacts in its collections.
“There are over 300,000 visitors to the Harris every year, who will be able to enjoy and learn about, not only the pyx itself, but what it shows about people’s lives locally
over the past 400 years.”