Some of the finest Catholic churches in England and Wales are winning recognition and a new lease of life. Some of them feature in Another Fifty Catholic Churches to See Before You Die, written by Elena Curti. This beautifully illustrated book continues Elena’s exploration of historic churches, and her mission to make them better-known and appreciated. It is a follow up to her best-selling volume, Fifty Catholic Churches to See Before You Die, published in 2020.
That book proved very popular. But there was a problem. The fifty selected churches did not include any from the Diocese of Leeds!
The new publication puts that right with the inclusion of two of our Grade II* Listed Churches: The Cathedral Church of St Anne in Leeds, and St Edward’s, Clifford.
Elena Curti said:
“Once again, exploring the Catholic churches of England and Wales has been a revelation. I have stood where the martyrs themselves celebrated Mass, visited early legal post-Reformation chapels with their understated exteriors, then seen the creations of wealthy patrons in the nineteenth century, who dreamt of the conversion of England.
“The great churches of the 1950s and 60s capture the excitement of liturgical change in the air, and with it a spirit of adventure in church design.”
Elena, a journalist at The Tablet for many years, has chosen 50 more personal favourites which, taken together, give the backdrop to the story of Catholicism in England and Wales. The churches are listed alphabetically by location, with history, architecture, and artistic highlights.
Each has a compelling story, featuring courageous old Catholic families, visionary priests and religious orders, local patrons, and poor Irish migrants who contributed their pennies, and often their labour, to raise their places of worship.
At the end of each entry Elena lists many more places of worship in the vicinity that are ‘worth a detour’. Also included are biographical notes of the principal architects and artists, and a glossary of architectural terms.
Like the first volume the new book is published by Gracewing and retails at £14.99.