|Title: Churches the
Author: Mark Chatfield
Date published: 1979
Status: out of print
What is it? A gazeteer to Churches that still retain their pre-19th century character.
What's it like? The
present century has been less kind in its desire to
provide modern comforts for the congregation. While the
simple lighting arrangement does no harm, the electric
heaters clamped onto the walls, and connected to each
other by orange cable, are antipathetic in the extreme.
How can incumbents be so impervious towards the visual
sensibilities of their churches? (Letheringham)
What's good about it? Rigorous, polemical, coherent. The writer makes a case, and finds the churches to prove it. Some haunting photographs.
What's bad about it? Author's obsession is with prayerbook interiors, and anything vaguely sacramental or medieval gets short shrift. This gets extremely tiresome after a while. The chosen churches are rarely illustrative of anything other than the axe he is grinding. He finds only four Suffolk churches that help prove his point. Theologically and aesthetically it is all very conservative.
Overall rating: 2/5