Despite being a city girl, I am currently vicar of three rural churches. One is a great barn of a place founded in around 1088 (you can read about it on p206 of this book).

Like many a Norman pile, we get lots of visitors. They exclaim: ‘What a beautiful church!’  

My eyebrow twitches, and I reply: ‘Yes, and the building’s quite nice, too.’  

The Church is the body of people rather than the pile of bricks, but we can’t seem to get away from the fact that people love a country church building. Christopher Winn is certainly passionate about box pews and buttresses.  

Featuring his 300 favourite English country churches, this guide book includes interesting facts, stories and trivia about the buildings and their associations with famous (and infamous) people. The pen and ink illustrations are lovely and the book is well-researched.  

Rather than being living places of worship, these church buildings are presented as monuments to the past, which they are for many. An easy, sweet and lightly entertaining read, this would be the perfect stocking filler for an ageing aunt and would be at home in any National Trust gift shop. (Kate Bottley)