A Glimpse of Heaven: Catholic Churches of England and Wales

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English Heritage, 2006 - Architecture - 224 pages
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The architecture and decoration of Catholic churches and their importance as part of our heritage has gone largely undiscovered and unappreciated. This book is a celebration of100 Catholic churches in England and Wales, with lively and informative text and stunning photography specially commissioned for the book. Each chapter is devoted to a milestone in the history of the Catholic Church since the Reformation, with a brief introduction followed by a description of each church complementing Alex Ramsay’s photographs.The churches vary enormously in scale, date and location. The small, 14th-century chapel at Rotherwas near Hereford survived centuries of official persecution and more informal terror from local anti-Catholics. The 19th-century Church of St Everilda in Yorkshire was built after Catholic Emancipation, but though off the beaten track it still hid its interior magnificence behind non-committal, blank walls. The Gothic churches of architect Joseph Hansom strike wonder into the hearts of their visitors: at Manchester’s Holy Name he contrived a space of breath-taking vastness – architecture designed to shock and awe. Early 20th-century church architects adopted a lighter – and in some cases extraordinary – approach that gave Rochdale a church with a Byzantine dome and a wall of sumptuous mosaics. All these are important, architecturally, decoratively, historically and socially, and each has an additional powerful and poignant dimension because of their remarkable stories.

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About the author (2006)

Christopher Martin lives with his wife, Deana, and their two children, Cannon and Opal, in an old house between Red Top Mountain and Kennesaw Mountain in the northwest Georgia piedmont. He is pursuing a Master of Arts in Professional Writing at Kennesaw State University, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ruminate Magazine, Still: The Journal, Loose Change Magazine, New Southerner, Drafthorse, American Public Media's On Being blog, and the Elevate/Art Above Underground project in Atlanta. Chris is at work on a collection of essays entitled Native Moments: An Ecology of Fatherhood, and he edits the online literary magazine Flycatcher: A Journal.

Ramsay well-known as a photographer of houses and gardens.

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