John E. Vigar MA, FSA Scot., FRSA

February Update

It`s been a busy few weeks for me as I continue to research my Churches of Essex book for publication in 2025. I`m now at the stage of revisiting the churches to photograph them for the book and have been delighted to have been accompanied by some eminent historians on my travels. My Churches of Sussex volume is scheduled for publication on 15th July 2024.


Over 25 years ago I had a knock on my door from a couple researching a 200 year old diary they had purchased from a secondhand bookshop. It has hardly crossed my mind since but I`m delighted to say that the fruits of their research have appeared in a splendid little book which I have throughly enjoyed. Here is the link:

Finding Rosamond


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I am sadly having to sell some of my collection of church books. Just let me know if you would like to purchase any - postage will be charged at cost.

Local Styles of the English Parish ChurchAddison, Sir WilliamBatsford1982HardbackVG2.5
Jordan`s Guide to English ChurchesJordan, OwenKings England Press2000Paperbackas new4
The Decorated StyleColdstream, NicolaBritish Museum Press1994Paperbackused2.5
Temple of Love (The Agapemonites)McCormack, DonaldJarrolds1962HardbackGood5
The Abode of Love (Agapemonites)Barlow, KateBantam2006Paperbackas new6
English Medieval Church Towers: NorthernRyan, W E DBoydell Press2018Paperbackas new7.5
A History of the Church of EnglandMoorman, JohnAdam and Charles Black1958HardbackFair5
Contrasts and True Principles of Pointed ArchitecturePugin, AWNSpire Books Ltd2003Hardbackas new40
English Parish Churches as Works of artClifton-Taylor, AlecBatsford1986Hardbackvery good5
Medieval Church window tracery in EnglandHart, StephenBoydell Press2010Hardbackas new15
Exploring Parish ChurchesBonham-Carter, VictorRoutledge and Keegan Paul1961Hardbackas new1.5
Medieval Styles of the English Parish ChurchHoward, F EBatsford1936HardbackFair12.5
The Study of LiturgyJones, Cheslyn (Ed)SPCK1978PaperbackAcceptable1.5
A History of Anglican LiturgyCuming, GMacmillan1969Hardbackex Public Library10
Brandon`s Parish Churches (Two complete Volumes)Brandon, R and JGeorge Bell1858Hardbackvery good£75
The Reformation of the DecalogueWillis, JonathanCambridge University Press2017Paperbackas new25
Medieval Bishops` Houses in England and WalesThompson, MichaelAshgate1998Hardbackas new17.5
Glory, Laud and Honour, The arts of the Anglican Counter ReformationParry, GrahamBoydell Press2006Paperbackas new17.5
Romanesque ArtPetzold, AndreasEveryman1995Hardbackas new2.5
Saints in the LandscapeJones, GrahamTempus2007PaperbackAs new7.5
Holy Terrors: Gargoyles on Medieval BuildingsBenton, Janetta ReboldAbbeville Press1997Hardbackas new12.5
Green Man, The archetype of our oneness with the EarthAnderson, WilliamHarper Collins1990Hardbackas new5.5
History and Imagery in British ChurchesAnderson, M DJohn Murray1971Paperbackas new3.5
BestiaryBarber, RichardBoydell Press1993Paperbackas new7.5
The Stripping of the AltarsDuffy, EamonYale1992PaperbackVG5
Lordship and faith, the English gentry and the parish churchSaul, NigelOxford University Press2017Hardbackas new75
Landscape with ChurchesDurant, G MMuseum Press1965HardbackGood3.5
The Principles of Religious CeremonialFrere, W HMowbray1928HardbackGood5
English Church ClocksBeeson, CFCPhillimore1971Hardbackex Public Library25
Gothic EnglandHarvey, JohnBatsford1948Hardbackex Public Library2.5
Churches with a StoryLong, GeorgeWerner Long1932HardbackGood2.5
The Law of the English Parish ChurchDale, W LButterworth1946Hardbackgood5
The European Reformation 1500-1618Greengrass, MarkLongman1998Paperbackas new5
Parish Church architectureTyrrell-Green, ESPCK1924HardbackFair2.5
Anglican Church PlateGilchrist, JamesThe Connoisseur1967HardbackFair2.5
The Journal of Stained Glass, Scotland Issue Vol XXXBSMGOBSHPG2006Paperbackas new2.5
The Rood in medieval Britain and Ireland 800-1500Turner, Philippa (Ed)Boydell Press2020Hardbackas new65
Christian SymbolsChild, HeatherG Bell and Sons1971Hardbackex Public Library1.5
Christianity and the Visual ArtsCope, Gilbert (ed)Faith Press1964Hardbackex Public Library7.5
The Holy Roman EmpireHeer, FriedrichWeidenfeld and Nicolson1968Hardbackex Public Library4.5
Traces of the TemplarsTull, George FWoolnough Bookbinding2000Paperbackas new3.5
Pilgrimage to Rome in the Middle AgesBirch, Debra JBoydell and Brewer1998Hardbackas new17.5
English Medieval PilgrimageHall, D JRoutledge and Keegan Paul1966HardbackGood7.5
Medieval Chantries and Chantry ChapelsCook, G HPhoenix House1947HardbackGood18
Temporal Pillars, Queen Anne`s Bounty and the Ecclesiastical CommissionersBest, GFACambridge University Press1961Hardbackvery good17.5
Victorian Church Art (V&A Exhibition Catalogue 1971Victoria and AlbertVictoria and Albert1871PaperbackGood4.5
English Church Architecture (Two Volumes)Bond, FrancisHumphrey Milford1913Hardbackvery good95
Encyclopaedia of Medieval Church ArtTasker, EdwardBatsford1993Hardbackvery good17.5
English Country ChurchesBriers, RichardRobson1989Hardbackas new2.5
The English Parsonage in the Nineteenth CenturyBrittain-Catlin, TSpire Books Ltd2008Hardbackas50
Saving ChurchesSaunders, MatthewFrances Lincoln2010Paperbackas new10
Britain`s Lost ChurchesHyde, MatthewAurum Press2015HardbackAs new7.5
The English Church, England's 100 Finest Parish ChurchesTatton-Brown, TimNew Holland2005Hardbackas new4.5
Saints and Sinners, A history of the PopesDuffy, EamonYale1997Hardbackas new2.5
English Liturgical ColoursSt John Hope, WilliamSPCK1918Hardbackex Public Library22.5
Sacred BritainPalmer, M and NICOREC1997Hardbackas new2.5
St Augustine and the Conversion of EnglandGameson, Richard (Ed(Sutton1999Hardbackas new12.5
Church and CommunityBettey, J HMoonraker Press1979Hardbackex Public Library3.5
Churches and Public BuildingsPetter, Helen MaryOxford University Press1963Hardbackas new2
Looking at ChurchesBowen, DavidDavid and Charles1976HardbackFair2
How to Study an Old ChurchNeedham, ABatsford1948HardbackGood2.5
English Church architecture through the AgesIson, L and WArthur Baker1972Hardbackex Public Library2.5
Discovering English ChurchesFoster, RichardBBC1979HardbackGood2.5
Church archaeology: Research Directions for the FutureBlair, JohnCouncil for British archaeology1996PaperbackGood35
The Evolution of Church BuildingsBowyer, JackGranada1977HardbackFair2
English ChurchesClarke, Basil and Betjeman, JohnVista1964Hardbackex Public Library2
Our Christian HeritageRodwell, WarwickGeorge Philip1984HardbackGood2.5
English Country ChurchesBrabbs, DerryGuild Publishing1985HardbackGood2.5
William Morris V&A 1996 Exhibition CatalogueParry, Linda (Ed)Victoria and Albert1996PaperbackGood20
The Architecture of the Scottish Medieval ChurchFawcett, RichardPaul Mellon2011HardbackAS NEW45
A fifteenth century pilgrimage in honour of Henry VILee, JoanHenry VI Society1974PaperbackGood5
More Adventures Among ChurchesMaxwell, DonaldFaith PressNDHardbackGood15
Pugin exhibition catalogueAtterbury, PaulVictoria and Albert1994PaperbackGood12.5
English CathedralsMeyer, PeterThames and Hudson1952HardbackFair3.5
Tin TabernaclesSmith, IanCamrose2004HardbackAs new25
Search for a Saint: Edward KingNewton, John AEpworth1977PaperbackAs new2.5
St George`s Chapel Windsor in the late Middle AgesRichmond, Colin (Ed)Windsor2001PaperbackAs new4.5
Ruined and Deserted ChurchesBeedham, L EElliot Stock1908HardbackFair12.5
The Church of England 1570-1640Foster, AndrewLongman1994PaperbackFair3.5
The Village ChurchDitchfield, P HEP Publishing1974HardbackFair7.5
History of the Church of EnglandWakeman, H ORivington's1914HardbackGood3
The Parish ChurchDuce, J EA & C Black1962hardbackFair2.5
Dunstan, Jewel of the EnglishDaniels, Richard WSt Dunstan`s Press1988Stapled paperbackGood4.5
Exploring Old British ChurchesWebb, BeresfordVawser and Wiles1949HardbackGood4.5
My Parish ChurchClare, BasilSPCK1946HardbackFair2.5
Ladybird What to Look For Outside a ChurchHunt, P JWills and Hepworth1972HardbackGood15
The Religion of ArtComper, JohnModern reprint Hardbackas new5
A popular handbook on the origin, history and structure of liturgiesComper, JohnModern reprint Paperbackas new5
Holy Wells of Bath and Bristol RegionQuinn, PhilLogaston Press1999Paperbackas new6
The Holy Wells of WalesJones, FrancisUniversity of Wales Press1954HardbackFair40
Holy Wells: WalesCope, PhilSeren Books2008HardbackGood25
The Living StreamRattue, JamesBoydell1995Hardbackas new17.5
Sacred WatersBord, J and CGranada1985HardbackGood5

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Happy New Year to you all.


It`s a quiet time of year when churchcrawling is only for the dedicated - so why not sit comfortably at home and attend my 4 session Zoom course exploring the wonderful Churches of Norfolk?

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Christmas Greetings

Wishing you and those you love a very Happy Christmas.

Detail of a stained glass window by Christopher Webb at Isfield Church, Sussex.



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Winter Blog


Welcome to my roundup of jottings from the past couple of months. It`s been a busy autumn season with lots going on including the group tour of Somerset Churches which visited 18 churches near Clevedon. We finished in a monsoon-like downpour but otherwise managed to escape the worst of the Mendips weather. Highlights included candlesticks of Eltonware, Butterfield donuts, foliate heads and a thirteenth century screen. The April 2024 tour to Lincolnshire is already full and planning for Autumn 2024 (October 14th - 17th, save the dates) is progressing.



Thirteenth century screen at Clapton in Gordano, Somerset.

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Lincolnshire Church Tour 2024


MONDAY 8th to THURSDAY 11th April 2024

Join me for a tour exploring a wide variety of churches. Staying at the North Shore Hotel on the edge of the Golf Links at Skegness on a DBB basis. The tour starts at Skegness Station at 2.00pm and ends there at 1.00pm on Thursday (suggested train from London at 11.06 change at Grantham. On Thursday the Skegness return train leaves at 1.15pm). This year two lunches are included in the price, meaning there will be no extras to pay, and the tour includes all coach travel.

We hope to visit the following, subject to availability.

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New Zoom lectures

Now that autumn is upon us it`s time to offer you three new Zoom lectures.

Pre-Conquest Churches

A Thousand Years of Cats in Churches

Exploring Monmouthshire Churches


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July Blog




I was absolutely delighted when Christopher Howse wrote about me in his column in the Daily Telegraph last Saturday. He featured my new book, Churches of Cambridgeshire which came out last week, and in a subsequent Tweet said it was the sort of book that would make you get out on your bike. You can buy it online, or if you want to help me out I can send you a signed copy for £15. Just drop me an email.


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Publication of Churches of Cambridgeshire

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Somerset Churches Tour



I`m delighted to announce my October Residential Church Tour. It will run from 16th October for 3 nights.

Join me for a coach tour exploring a wide variety of churches. Staying at the Walton Hall Hotel on the clifftop at Clevedon on a DBB basis. The tour starts at Yatton Station at 2.00pm and ends there at 1.30pm on the Thursday (Monday train from London at 11.32 change at Bristol. On Thursday the Yatton return train is at 13.59). This year lunch is included in the price, meaning there are no extras to pay.


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April Blog

A few weeks ago I travelled north the town of Seaham where I was able to photograph a church that I had wanted to see for some time. For many years I`ve owned the original architects drawing dating from 1862 when it was substantially enlarged. It had been built to serve the mining community at Seaham and the churchyard contains memorials to the nearly 200 men lost in two underground explosions. I was delighted to see that it is still in use and that the churchyard is well maintained.



I also visited Beamish Museum where I especially wanted to visit St Helen`s Church, re-erected there from Eston in Yorkshire. Dating from the 17th and 18th centuries the interior is dominated by two Commandment Boards which I supplied to them 9 years ago. They fit in very well as you see from the photograph. Incidentally the box pews came from Somerset!


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John`s February Blog

Welcome to my February round-up


I still have some places left for the 3 day tour to Wales in April. Please email me for further information This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Next week`s lavishly illustrated ZOOM lecture is on the fascinating story of the Church Building Commission, the Incorporated Church Building Society and the 1851 Religious Census. Join me will you? 

John Vigar Zoom lecture


In May I`m leading a tour of Essex Churches to raise funds for the Friends of Essex Churches. It`s a self drive tour just off the M11.

Essex Study Day


In March my Zoom lecture tells the story of the Chancel - its purpose, construction and the things we find in it. Expect some surprises! Book with this link

Chancel Zoom lecture


Also in March I return to Kent to speak to the Friends of Kent Churches on `Some interesting Church Fonts`.

Screenshot 2023 02 07 100423



As ever, the Calendar tab on my website will show you all my activities.


Until next time, take care and I hope to see you soon.




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January Blog

Now that the frenzy of New Year has passed I felt it a good time to update you on some of my future events. The following are all public events and in addition to my private bookings:

Zoom lectures coming up 

13th February   The 1851 Religious Census and Incorporated Church Building Society

16th March The Chancel of the English Parish Church The Chancel of the Parish Church

2nd September for the Society of Geneaologists, 


The following are in-person events

29th April in-person lecture for the Friends of Kent Churches at Lenham Village Hall, Interesting Church Fonts in Kent 

24th May guided tour of 4 North Essex Churches for the Friends of Kent Churches, own transport required.

23rd June in-person lecture at Hemblington Church, Norfolk in aid of the Friends of Hemblington Church.


South Wales Church Tour, April 24th to 27th.

There are still places left on this tour which starts and ends at Cardiff Central Station. Three nights, visiting approx 20 churches, the majority of which are not normally open. DBB accommodation and coach travel included. Full details are here S Wales Tour


I`m currently writing a new volume of Sussex Churches but am pleased to annouce the launch of Churches of Cambridgeshire as July. It is already available for pre-order from your normal bookseller.


I always love hearing from you so please do drop me a line via the contact box on

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April 2023 Church Tour - South Wales


Monday April 24th to Thursday April 27th 2023

Join us for a tour exploring a wide variety of churches. Staying at the Iconic Angel Hotel opposite Cardiff Castle Hotel on a DBB basis. The tour starts and ends at Cardiff Central Station at 1.30pm.


Stunning Victorian church built by Lord Bute as his family mausoleum. Colourful interior. Glass by Burlison and Grylls and altar by Comper

Bodley designed church of great renown. 1881. `Strong, lithe and thin`.

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Winter Lecture Series

I`m delighted to publish my Winter 2022 series of Zoom lectures which are now available to book. As usual they are richly illustrated and  cover both English and Welsh churches.


21st November Commandment and Benefaction Boards

1st December Pulpits and Lecterns

4th January Love Everlasting? Hand-Holding Church Monuments

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Summer 2022 round-up


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It doesn`t seem that long ago that we were anticipating the arrival of summer - and here it is.

I`m still taking bookings for my coach tour of Leicestershire Churches Tour which runs from the 10-13 October. It really will be a good selection of churches, many of which are difficult of access. Next Spring we will be visiting South Wales. More details on that one in a month or so.

I have just finished writing Churches of Cambridgeshire which will be out next Spring but my other three volumes in the set (Norfolk, Hampshire, Kent) are all currently available from your chosen outlet.

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Norfolk Churches - a short course


I am delighted to have been chosen to host a course on the inaugural Attleborough Lifelong Learning Summer Programme. I`ll be teaching a three session course on Norfolk Churches at Attleborough Town Hall on Friday mornings starting on June 17th. No previous experience necessary! Cost for the course is £24 to include refreshments. To book phone George Ridgway on 01953 455995 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Leicestershire Churches Tour - booking now open


Join John Vigar this October as he leads a tour of 20 historic churches on the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire border. These tours are always popular. It starts on Monday October 10th at Leicester Station at 2pm and ends at the same time and place on Thursday October 13th. We stay at the Best Western Ullesthorpe Court Hotel on a DBB basis. All coach travel is included, as are sandwich lunches on the two full days out. Churches to be visited include 


Most of these churches are being opened especially for us. As usual, all churches are subject to avaialability.

Cost of the tour is £695 per person with a deposit of £95 securing your place. Please contact John Vigar to book. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Kent Churches News


I am repeating my popular Zoom course on Kent Churches this March, to tie in with the publication of my new book, Churches of Kent. The course will run for three Wednesday evenings commencing 9th March. Each session is from 7.30pm - 8.30pm and will cover history, architecture, furnishings, monuments and stained glass. The cost is £25 for the three sessions which may be booked here.  Kent Churches Course


The book can be purchased in all the usual outlets or direct from the publisher Amberley Books . It is a new look at 50 famous and not so well known churches and is profusely illustrated with 100 colour photographs.

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John Vigar`s February update

The snowdrops are out and it almost feels as if Spring is around the corner. Many churches are now back to opening normally - I`ve visited 42 churches in January of which only 6 have been locked. However, some churches are either still hesitant to open, or have lost the momentum of opening from which they may never recover. It`s still a fluid situation.


I`m delighted to say that my new book on Churches of Kent has been published by Amberley Books. It is a completely new book covering 50 churches ranging from the famous to the little known and is illustrated by 100 colour photographs. The book is available from all the usual outlets and also direct from the publishers Amberley Books. It will be followed in a couple of months by Churches of Hampshire which is already available for discounted order from the same website. Churches of Cambridgeshire will be out in 2022 - I`m thoroughly enjoying working on it at the moment.


The much-postponed Tour of Somerset Churches is finally taking place in April. It is now full, with a waiting list, and we look forward to visiting 20 churches from our base in Ilminster. Booking for the Leicestershire Churches Tour which runs from October 10th-13th opens in April.

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Latest Blogs from John

It`s been a busy few weeks for me as I continue to research my Churches of Essex book for publication in 2025. I`m now at the stage of revisiting the churches to photograph them for the book and have been delighted to have been accompanied by some em...
I am sadly having to sell some of my collection of church books. Just let me know if you would like to purchase any - postage will be charged at cost. Local Styles of the English Parish Church Addison, Sir William Batsford 1982 Hardback VG 2.5 Jordan...
    Happy New Year to you all.   It`s a quiet time of year when churchcrawling is only for the dedicated - so why not sit comfortably at home and attend my 4 session Zoom course exploring the wonderful Churches of Norfolk?   It ru...
Wishing you and those you love a very Happy Christmas. Detail of a stained glass window by Christopher Webb at Isfield Church, Sussex.   John...

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