Thursday, 10 December 2009

A Glimpse of Heaven

A Glimpse of Heaven Catholic Churches of England and Wales
by Christopher Martin
This item is a beautiful book full of amazing photographs of Catholic Church architecture in England and Wales.
In 1791 Catholic worship and church building became legal again. Previously in the reign of Elizabeth 1 (1558-1603) when the Church of England was established, the Catholics faced stark choices. They had either to conform to the Church of England, using their own parish church but with all the traditional furnishings and images removed, or they would have to face crippling financial penalties and even imprisonment.
In the 1840s the situation was transformed. The confidence and growing wealth encouraged church building on an ambitious scale. The photographs in this book show the amazing splendour of the churches and furnishings and decoration.
English Heritage has only 18% of the Catholic churches listed, and English Heritage are busy in partnership with Catholic dioceses to demonstrate many more deserve recognition for their contribution to the historic environment.