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Former Liberal Democrat Leader’s Remarks on the Death of Queen Elizabeth

Former Liberal Democrat Leader’s Remarks on the Death of Queen Elizabeth Tim Farron (Lib-Dem), MP for Westmoreland and Lonsdale spoke from the floor of the House of Commons to express his thoughts on the late Queen Elizabeth. The day after her untimely demise he...

Queen’s Choice of Hymns and Scripture Readings

Queen’s Choice of Hymns & Scripture Readings Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth demonstrated the depth of her faith and understanding of the scriptures and hymnody when planning her funeral.  The hymns were melodic works of substance, truth, and comfort designed for...

Church Leaders and Parliamentarians Pay Tribute

Church Leaders and Parliamentarians Pay Tribute In a statement given shortly after the announcement of the Queen’s death, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said: “As we grieve together, we know that, in losing our beloved Queen, we have lost the person whose...

Keene Review: God’s Church for God’s World Part One

God’s Church for God’s World Faithful perspectives on mission and ministry Tom Woolford and Adam Young (eds.) IVP, 2022 (ISBN: 9781789742244, 218pp, £19.99) Part One   This is an important book which takes a snapshot of evangelical ministry in 2022. The title and...

The Faith of the Queen; A Cleric’s Reflections

The Faith of the Queen A Cleric’s Reflections As far as we know, Queen Elizabeth II commended only one book published during her long reign. In 2016 she penned the Foreword to a volume produced jointly by the Bible Society, HOPE and the London Institute of...

Collins: The Elizabethan Settlement

The Elizabethan Settlement By Revd Canon Chuck Collins Queen of England for 44 years, Elizabeth died March 24, 1603. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, the last of the five monarchs in the House of Tudor. She never married ("Virgin Queen"). Her coffin...

Pilgrim’s Process: Rebuke

Pilgrim’s Process By the Revd Dr Peter Sanlon Rebuke In the fifth century some monks in France realised that Augustine’s theological writings commended a Biblical and God focused vision of the Christian pilgrimage. Augustine has been called the ‘Doctor of grace’ for...

Anglican Bishop of Norwich Joins in Roman Catholic Requiem Mass for The Queen

Anglican Bishop of Norwich Joins in Roman Catholic Requiem Mass for The Queen Church of England Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher joined in a Roman Catholic Requiem Mass for Her Majesty The Queen at St John’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Norwich on 15 September.   Roman...

The Queen’s Faith in Her Own Words

The Queen’s Faith – in Her Own Words Its formal name was ‘Her Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech’. To the royal household, it was known as the QXB – the Queen’s Christmas broadcast. Queen Elizabeth II spoke about the significance of Christmas to more people than anyone...

Anglican Futures: A Cure for the Lambeth Hangover?

Anglican Futures Commentary A Cure for the Lambeth Hangover? As the bishops of the Anglican Communion disembark from their flights and return to their dioceses, there is a danger that some will rub their eyes, and realise that however great the party was, there has...

Keene Book Review: Late-Georgian Churches

Late-Georgian Churches

Anglican architecture, patronage and churchgoing in England, 1790-1840

Christopher Webster

John Hudson Publishing, 2022 (ISBN: 978-7398229-0-3, 320pp, £80)

During the past hundred years, and especially the past fifty, valiant progress has been made in correcting patronising Victorian views of the eighteenth-century church. Since the work of Dean Sykes, several authors have successfully worked to revise our understanding of its theology, practices, finances, politics, and leadership. As regards church buildings, emigre architectural historian Marcus Whiffen began the revival in his 1947 review of the regions, Stuart and Georgian Churches. Basil Clarke, a long-serving Berkshire vicar, picked up the baton in his 1963 Building of the Eighteenth Century Church, noting with satisfaction that ‘the eighteenth-century churches are [now] treated with respect]’ and pursuing this new enthusiasm into the realm of the logistical background to construction. A more recent landmark was the epic-scale Eighteen Century Church in Britain (2011), a labour of love by Terry Friedman, the ‘scholar-curator’ whose change of domicile took the opposite trajectory to Whiffen’s. 

With renewed appreciation of church building of the long eighteenth century has come fresh focus on its relation to the Victorian era. Contrary to the view that Cambridge’s Ecclesiological movement grew from Oxford’s Tractarian, it is now better understood that both stepped into a philosophical space prepared for them by the late Georgians. Nineteenth-century interest in gothic plans and details clearly pre-dated Pusey, hence why the turn had less of a party flavour than may be imagined. The new book by Webster provides a rich illustration of this phenomenon. Although briefer than Friedman’s opus, it exhibits the same meticulous attention, high quality, and passionate dedication. 

Beginning in 1790, Webster leads us through half a century of church-building, decade by decade, exposing trends and developments as they arose. Interspersed are chapters with topical foci such as the nature of auditory worship and the challenge of seating the congregation (a challenge which we pray might return to all churches!). The book brings to the public the fruits of doctoral study at York University and – no doubt – years of private investigation. The standard of both research and photography is such that this book is a worthy addition to both library and coffee table. In both locations, and beyond, it will serve to correct warped views, which linger on in the public mind, of what a church ‘should’ look like.

Edward Keene, Little Shelford

 

 

 

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