Treasures of English Churches
We are delighted to be launching 'The Treasures of English Churches: Witnesses to the History of a Nation', a beautiful new book by leading photographer Matthew Byrne, celebrating some of the greatest art, architecture and furnishings to be found in England's churches.
Where could you find some of the oldest artwork in England, masterpieces of design, some of the world's most beautiful stained glass windows and a host of astonishing murals, monuments and carvings spanning over a thousand years of turbulent history?
Matthew Byrne's new and luxuriously illustrated book reveals the stunning treasures of the England's churches and invites readers to share his forty-year long passion for photographing and exploring these unique buildings. With many surviving the upheavals of war, plague and reformation, this book is a vibrant testament to the enduring power of uplifting art and human ingenuity.
From the sublime to the curious, the sacred to the secular, Matthew has brought together breathtaking highlights of artistry, architecture and artisan skills that will inspire, uplift and spark interest in the glories of English church heritage.
Matthew Byrne said: "I hope this book will also help encourage readers to venture out and discover for themselves England's wonderful churches. Getting more people to visit churches is one way in which these magnificent buildings can be safeguarded for the future, as it helps to show those responsible for funding church buildings that they remain an important and loved part of our heritage."
Showcasing hundreds of Matthew's gorgeous colour photographs that bring history alive, this book shows how ordinary people were often as instrumental in artistic expression as the rich, famous and powerful.
From stunning Saxon sculpture to masterpieces of medieval woodcarving, polychrome brilliance of Victorian interiors to the moving memorial legacies of two world wars, the history of England can be traced through its unique church furnishings, decorations and artwork.
Spanning economic, political and social change, plus the rich psychology of artistic expression, 'The Treasures of English Churches' shines a spotlight on English history through the buildings we often walk past every day in cities, towns and villages around the country.
This book is published thanks to the generous sponsorship of CCLA Investment Management.
Claire Walker, CEO of the National Churches Trust said:
"With many church buildings under threat due to the ravages of time and with fewer worshippers to look after them, this book shows the importance of their art and architecture and why it needs to be safeguarded for the future."
"We are delighted to be working with Matthew Byrne again. In 2017 we partnered with Matthew on the publication of his best selling book 'English Parish Churches and Chapels'. He is a consumate photographer and has been exploring, studying and photographing English churches for nearly 40 years."
"'The Treasures of English Churches' is a really accessible book which shows just why English churches are one of the jewels in the UK's heritage crown. A huge thanks to CCLA Investment Management for their generous support and to publishers Shire/Bloomsbury."
The fully illustrated hardback 160 page book will be published on 13 May 2021 by Shire/Bloomsbury at £20. It is available from major bookshops including Waterstones and online retailers including Blackwells and Amazon. Find out more
Matthew Byrne was elected a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 1988 for his work in architectural photography. He has published three previous books: Great Churches of the Northwest, Beautiful Churches, and English Parish Churches and Chapels: Art, Architecture and People.