There are an estimated 47,000 Christian churches, chapels and meeting houses in the United Kingdom, providing a rich architectural heritage reflecting changes in religious practice, architecture and vernacular building styles.
The development and spread of places of worship also plays a significant part in the history of the British Isles. Visiting and learning about these buildings can help provide a better understanding of the past and its influence on today.
These pages contain a photo galleries showing off some of the beautiful churches in the UK and highlighting their architectural details.
We also have some useful information about church architectural history and detail, for those interested in visiting churches.
Fashions have changed over the centuries and churches have been built in many styles and with varying degrees of decoration. Some are very plain, while others are highly ornate. However, look beyond the beautifully obvious and you will find layers of meaning woven into the very fabric of the building, some obvious, others not so clear.
As anyone who visits churches will know, they are alive with images and symbols. But, the very building itself is also a symbol, to be understood by its congregation, local community and visitors. The original builders of our churches, be they ancient or modern, meant for them to be ‘read’ and understood. But today few people truly understand thewealth of meaning they find there.
The thousands of churches across the country are intricately woven into our history and culture.
National Churches Trust Vice President, author and presenter Richard Taylor’s 2010 BBC series Churches: How to Read Them examined how the imagery, symbols and architecture of English parish churches have inspired, moved and enraged people down the centuries.