A Little History Of The English Country Church Paperback – 4 Sep 2008
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"[A] treasure of a book...riveting... If the loss of our lovely country churches strikes you as tragic then I urge you to read Strong's passionately penned book and to pass it around among your friends" (Val Hennessy Daily Mail)
"Riveting... Strong tells this story with expertise and a highly readable style. He always shows the physical presence of the church as a building in the context of its time. Anyone who ever enters a church and wonders why it has come to look exactly as it does will find an answer within these pages" (Literary Review)
"Anyone with the slightest interest in the English parish church, of its life today, or its history - or who is only conscious of the same draw of curiosity they give out- will be intrigued, informed and enchanted by this lucid, and occasionally provocative, account" (Country Life)
"A charmingly produced book... Roy Strong's style, too, is gentle while erudite, affectionate but realistic... His intimate knowledge of one of England's most neglected institutions is profound" (Sunday Express)
"Strong's short but rich history of the country church will be a great help in understanding the changes to the physical fabric of our churches over the last five centuries" (Daily Telegraph)
`a modest title for a book that provides a cleverly concise narrative of the history of Christian worship in England'.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is however mainly an overview of the way that the building and in particular the furnishings of English parish churches have changed from the early medieval era which saw church interiors lavishly decorates and furnished through the period of the Reformation and the Commonwealth which saw the destruction of a massive amount of church art and furnishings which tracked the interpretation of Protestant theology in its manifestation in the decoration and liturgy of the parish church. The book describes in vivid detail the rituals and ceremonies at the heart of the parish throughout history tracing their changes with the contemporary religious and political events that occurred in England, particularly momentous events such as the Reformation and subtle changes brought about by the Oxford Movement in the mid nineteenth century which has shaped the liturgy and decoration of modern parish churches to this day.
The book however is popularist rather than academic.Read more ›
This book attempts to narrate the complex history and development of the English parish church "...from the first buildings erected in Anglo-Saxon times to its uncertain future in the twenty-first century." That is to undertake quite a task and the author has made a jolly good job of it!
The book has been described as a "richly illustrated elegy, and a plea for the preservation of the country church." Indeed, Strong's book really is both at once a celebration of the English country church - and a passionate plea for its conservation. The author entertainingly and anecdotally relates the dramatic ebb and flow of the English parish church, through its various epochs and vicissitudes.
The reader really does feel as though he or she is actually engaged in a voyage through time; from the arrival of those Catholic missionaries who systematically erected crosses here and there to mark the places where they preached, to the beautiful architecture and aureate pseudo-spirituality of medieval Christianity; from the tumult of the Reformation to the times of the 'squarson', the sedate, gentrified type of cleric we encounter in the works of Jane Austen: we are swept along on a journey of discovery and rediscovery.
This book is an enlightening and an invigorating yarn and this reviewer can heartily commend it to prospective readers.
Michael Calum Jacques
The beauty of this book is that is explains the essence of continuity in English Christianity as perceived through the experience of ordinary worshippers and does not get embroiled with the relative merits of theological standpoints.
An excellent book, buy one for the Vicar!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good read if you are wanting to known anything about churches gives great detailed information highly recommend!Published 1 month ago by Rebecca
This is an inspiring entry-level book outlining the various substantive changes that have not only effected the local parish churches but also a glimpse into the impact these... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gerry Attrik
lovely book- would have liked more about the pre-reformation but it is really a history of the Anglican Church through the church. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mr. K. Downey
A charming description of what actually went on in an English village church from its very beginning. Read morePublished 10 months ago by jennifer wright
Perfect compliment to Clifton-Taylor...tells you what people DID in the churches and what it meant to them... Read morePublished 10 months ago by T. S. Mizen