Guide to St Michael's Church
REVIEW OF THE NEW "GUIDE TO WINTERBOURNE CHURCH"
by Nigel Bain, MA, BD, Head of History at The Ridings High School.
First published in the Church Magazine 1985
This country has always been unique in the extent to which so many of its historical sites still decorate our landscape. Some of these remains, of course, require considerable feats of the imagination before we can recreate them in the mind's eye. In others, and above all with the older well-preserved parish churches, such as St. Michael's, the evidence is more visible and the picture somewhat clearer.
Nevertheless, it takes a good deal of effort to interpret satisfactorily what is visible, and trace accurately the successive contributions and modifications which each generation has brought to the development of the church, over many centuries.
And at the end of the day, it's no easy matter to sift out for the brief pages of a church guide the most relevant and useful material to depict such progress.
The new "Guide to Winterbourne Church" copes admirably with these challenges, whilst also recognising the importance of initiating a more ambitious, comprehensive and ongoing approach altogether. It further breaks away from the established genre of the older guides with all their inadequacies by offering a larger more exciting format, presentation and print - in short, more accessible reading.
The plain purpose of this impressive guide is to set the story of St. Michael's development back within its proper place at the forefront of the community's awareness - and as something to be proud of. It also whets the reader's appetite for more.
The research commitment of the authors is clear and an excellent bibliography and other useful appendices are also provided. Mr Kite and Mrs Marsh have done the parish a very considerable service. Other churches would be well advised to follow suit!