Enfilade

Online Talk | Christopher Webster on Late Georgian Churches

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on April 14, 2022

St Mary, Paddington Green, London, 1788–91, designed by John Plaw. It is a one of the finest surviving interiors from the late Georgian period, one carefully designed for the auditory worship of the age. (Photograph by Geoff Brandwood).

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Presented by the Ecclesiological Society:

Christopher Webster, Late-Georgian Churches: A Reassessment
Online and In-person, Art Workers’ Guild, London, Thursday, 21 April 2022, 7pm

In the summer of 2022, Christopher Webster’s book Late-Georgian Churches: Anglican Architecture, Patronage, and Church-Going in England, 1790–1840 will be published by John Hudson Publishing. It will be the first comprehensive study of church-building in the late Georgian period. After centuries of post-Reformation inactivity, the Church of England began to address the desperate shortage of accommodation and build on a huge scale. Almost all the leading architects were involved and, amongst approximately 1500 new churches, there are some outstanding designs—buildings of the very highest order architecturally. The lecture will examine these churches, free from the Ecclesiological zeal that condemned them and has, for so long, prevented their serious study. It will consider them in the context of Georgian auditory worship and the period’s attitudes to the architecture of the past. Revealing some remarkable buildings, the talk will also explore what church-going involved at the time.

The Ecclesiological Society’s annual general meeting (for ES members) will begin at 6.30pm followed at 7.00 by Dr. Webster’s lecture (for the general public).

We are excited to provide the option of attending the annual meeting and this lecture either in-person at the Art Workers’ Guild or by Zoom for those who would like to join from home. Current government regulations suggest the in-person option will be entirely feasible, and it is the organisers’ intention that it be available: only new government restrictions will remove that option. After so long, we would love to see you in person and to enjoy a glass of wine! In the event, however, of new regulations, the lecture will still take place, though solely as a Zoom event–in which case it is assumed that all those who have booked for ‘live’ attendance will be content to move online. For those who opt to join us via Zoom, the link to the meeting will be sent a couple of days in advance.

New Book | Late-Georgian Churches, 1790–1840

Posted in books by Editor on April 14, 2022

Forthcoming from John Hudson Publishing:

Christopher Webster, Late-Georgian Churches: Anglican Architecture, Patronage, and Church-Going in England, 1790–1840 (London: John Hudson Publishing, 2022), 360 pages, ISBN: ‎978-1739822903, £80 / $115. Also available as an ebook for £20.

This book is the first comprehensive study of late-Georgian church-building. After centuries of post-Reformation inactivity, the Church of England began to address the desperate shortage of accommodation and build on a huge scale. Almost all the leading architects were involved and, amongst approximately 1500 new churches, there are some outstanding designs—buildings of the very highest order architecturally. In this pioneering study, the churches are considered free from the Ecclesiological zeal that condemned them and has, for so long, prevented their serious study. It celebrates the best of them and provide valuable insights into the design and planning of the whole corpus. Included is a thorough examination of the stylistic alternatives and contemporary liturgical imperatives, along with their architectural implications. The book also explores a lost world of late-Georgian churchgoing: what people expected and experienced in a church service. Also considered are some of the period’s remarkable material and constructional innovations, ones often exploited in church-building, along with the provision of architectural services in the era that preceded full professionalisation.

Christopher Webster is an independent architectural historian whose work focuses on Georgian England. His books include R.D. Chantrell (1793–1872) and the Architecture of a Lost Generation (2009) and edited volumes of essays: Episodes in the Gothic Revival (2011); Building a Great Victorian City: Leeds Architects and Architecture, 1790–1914 (2011); and The Practice of Architecture (2012). Dr Webster has also published articles in Architectural History, The Georgian Group Journal, and Ecclesiology Today.

C O N T E N T S

1  Introduction
2  The Church in Danger
3  Ecclesiastical Architecture and the Question of Style
4  Church Designers and Their World
5  Constructional and Decorative Innovation in Church-building
6  Designing for Worship: The Practical Issues
7  Planning Liturgical Spaces
8  Late-Georgian Worship
9  Seating the Congregation
10  Late Eighteenth Century Church-building: The Final Triumph of Classicism
11  Church-building, 1800–1820
12  The Gothic Revival in West Yorkshire and Liverpool, 1800–1820
13  Design Debates and Solutions, 1820: The Commissioners, the ICBS and Publications
14  Church-building in the 1820s
15  Church-building in London, c1790–1830: From Classical to Gothic
16  Church-building in South-East Lancashire, 1790–1830: The Role of the Clergy
17  Church-building in the 1830s
18  A Brave New World?
19  Conclusions

Select Bibliography
Select Gazetteer
Index

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