Great English Churches - guestbook





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Added: November 9, 2016
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I regularly open our anglican church in buenos Aires to visitors and they keep me asking why the entrance of the church is on its north side and not in the west as the main roman catholic chruches. I tried multiple answers but being a kind of neo gothic church built 1896, maybe you have some insigth to help? Thanks-

Admin reply: How wonderful to have a Guestbook posting from Argentina, Herman! Thank you. In the first millenium in England most churches were built with entrances at the west end. This reflected the original Roman Basilican pattern. That quickly evolved into the practice of placing the main entrance on the South side. It's not very clear why but we know the north side was always regarded with suspicion - see my page on Marown in the Isle of Man. Most churches also acquired a north door but this was not an entrance for people - it was an exit for the demons exorcised during the sacrament of baptism. No parishioner would enter through "The Devil's Door". You can see more about this in my piece about Luppitt Church in Devon. Of course, the idea of baptism as an act of exorcism became discredited so these north doors were often blocked because the paishioners still wouldn't use them. If the church in Buenos Aires now has a north door as its main entrance that is no longer surprising. Some English churches now use the north door where it is convenient because those old superstitions are now dead. The larger churches would have have abandoned those old superstitions more quickly than those in the humbler rural communities. As far as I know, in England at least, there has never been Church directions on where doors should be placed. Hope that helps. regards Lionel


Added: October 25, 2016
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What a wonderful site - I certainly hope that you continue to add more churches to this great resource. Thank you for the time you have put in.

Admin reply: Thank you, Neil. Your comments are appreciated. regards Lionel


Added: October 20, 2016
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This site is a fount of knowledge. Well done.

Admin reply: Thank you, Stuart. I am rather surmising that you found about the site following my singing at Waltham-on-the-Wolds Church with Millstone Grit a few weeks ago? regards Lionel


Added: October 14, 2016
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Hi,
What a great site- thank you. So much of our social history is visible in Our old churches and I have always loved spending time scurinising them so thank you for your readable and humorous insights!

Admin reply: Thank you, Jon. Much appreciated.


Added: October 8, 2016
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Very interesting and informative, with good illustrations.

Admin reply: Thank you, Elizabeth.


Added: October 8, 2016
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Admin reply: You are very welcome, Amy. Thank you for your kind comments.


Added: October 1, 2016
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Loved your mention of Heath Chapel as this is my favourite Shropshire church It is so often overlooked, perhaps because it is so easy to miss it even when looking for it! Long may Saint George keep slaying his dragon.

Admin reply: Hi Catherine. Heath is one of my best-loved churches. Finding it is certainly a trial especially as Simon Jenkins got the directions spectacularly wrong. A lady tractor driver helped us. We couldn''t see it even though we were only 50 metres away!


Added: September 29, 2016
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What a great website! The text is witty and informative. There is a good range of photographs.

Admin reply: Thanks for your kind words. regards Lionel


Added: September 22, 2016
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Hello, I just stumbled upon your website and I must say how marvellous it is! I'm a fellow church hunter although mainly confined to Oxon, Bucks and a bit of Gloucs unless I'm on holiday. I know I'm going to find your website very helpful on my travels. If you're interested in more of Oxfordshires churches there's a great book which started me off and which I lug everywhere with me called Oxfordshire's Best Churches by Richard Wheeler.
Best wishes, Charlotte :D

Admin reply: Thanks, Charlotte. Once you get the bug you'll be going farther afield, believe me :o. Regards Lionel


Added: September 11, 2016
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