Friday, 7 August 2015

Christian Ealing: An Ecumenical History


Christian Ealing: An Ecumenical History (Tignarius Publications, 2015), 304pp


This book is the first detailed synthesis of Ealing's Church history, drawing on a wealth of primary and secondary source material. It surveys the genesis and development of Church life in what is now the London Borough of Ealing from Medieval times to the present day. Taking an ecumenical approach, it investigates the rich tapestry of Christian faith and culture through time, highlighting and explaining both continuities and changes across successive periods of Ealing's Church history, while situating the churches in their wider social context. With 90 illustrations, and Appendices.

(From the Back Cover) 


CONTENTS

Preface: Ealing Christian Voices……………………………………………..7
Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………...15
Map: London Borough of Ealing…………………………………………….17

Introduction………………………………………………………………….19

1. The Roots of Parish Life: The Medieval Period…………………………..21
2. The Confessional Age: Reformation to Catholic Emancipation,
1534-1829……………………………………………………..…….37

3. Church-Building in an Age of Christian Pluralism: The Victorian Era,
1837-1901…………………………………………………………...61

4. Growing, Irrelevant? Christians, Secularisation and Social Change,
1901-1969…………………………………………………………...89

5. Beyond Secularisation: Ecumenism and Multiculturalism,
1970-2000s…………………………………………………………139


Conclusion…………………………………………………………………..177

Illustrations…………………………………………………………………181
Picture Credits……………………………………………………………...229
Appendices………………………………………………………………….237
Bibliography………………………………………………………………...273
Index………………………………………………………………………...293


If I have a vocation as a historian, it is primarily in the field of Church History. My PhD was on the Dominican Order in the Polish Counter-Reformation, later published as a monograph with Ashgate in 2010. I dealt with 'Religion' in the 1960s in my last monograph, Ealing in the 1960s (2013). Since then, I have produced a researcher's guide on the local churches of Ealing, entitled Ealing Church History Notes (2014) - which details over 400 churches from more than 30 denominations across time, including basic details such as year of foundation, address, and a list of sources in which the church appears, etc.

Christian Ealing builds on Ealing Church History Notes and provides a narrative of Ealing's Church history through time, highlighting the salient features of church life. It is based on extensive research at my workplace, the Borough Archive of the London Borough of Ealing (also known as Ealing Local History Centre). Ealing, for those unaware of it, is a London Borough, now encompassing over 300,000 inhabitants, comprising several smaller localities. The scope and breadth of the subject matter was thus rather challenging, but also made easier by the sheer volume of relevant source material and extant parish histories.

The book is shorter than my 1960s book, and probably all the more readable for that reason. I shall be giving a talk on the subject, Churches through Time: Ealing's Christian History, 1114-2014 AD on 1 December 2015 in the Green Room of Ealing Central Library, where the book will go on sale for the first time, priced £10. The intention is to attract as many Christians as possible, who will hopefully find the book interesting and instructive. Any reader of this blog who wishes to attend would be more than welcome. Please contact staff at Ealing Central Library is you wish to book a place, on: 0203-700-1052. Tickets are priced £3 for library members, or £5 for non-members.

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