John E. Vigar MA, FSA Scot., FRSA

The Church’s Restoration

The growth in population and the rise of nonconformity changed attitudes with regard to the use of the parish church in mid nineteenth century England. Work was needed to the structure of these ancient buildings to make them more comfortable and to increase seating accommodation within a framework of an increasing historical and liturgical awareness. If the parish church was not providing sufficient, comfortable, accommodation there was the risk of losing worshippers to nonconformist congregations or other Anglican churches.

This lecture looks at the ways in which we expect a church to look today are a direct result of work carried out in the 19th century when box pews, three decker pulpits and an austerity today only met in nonconformist churches, were swept away to create a `Church of England interior`. Old photographs and prints are contrasted with the same views today.

Misconceptions will be challenged and you will never look at a church in the same way again!

John Vigar is an acknowledged expert in this field and looks at the subject in an amusing yet academic manner.

Suggested reading:

Temples worthy of His presence by Christopher Webster (2003)

A Church as it should be by Christopher Webster (2000)

The Victorian Church by Chris Brooks (1995)

Victorian Churches by James Stevens Curl (1995)

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