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Parish Church

Parish Church
St Bartholomew’s Churchdown Gloucestershire © English Heritage/Boris Baggs

The parish church has been at the centre of town and village life in England ever since the first wooden churches began to be built on former pagan sites of worship. Throughout the great eras of church-building in the early medieval era, and again in the 19th century, churches altered the landscapes of our communities, providing spiritual comfort as well as places to meet and celebrate.

Now the subject of a major campaign to halt their continuing deterioration, many of them have seen better days. But you don't need to be a practising Christian to appreciate their architectural majesty, or to be uplifted by the inimitably English sound of peals of bells announcing anything from a wedding to Sunday communion.

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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry

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