On September 13th the Banbury Historical Society begins another year of historical activities and we will be meeting in St. Mary’s Church, and we will begin the season as usual by offering members a glass of wine from 6.30 pm. This provides an opportunity for chat and also for a wander round the church. The Museum has building works going on so the Education Studio in which we usually meet will only be accessible (until December) via the towpath and the cafe, so we thought that it would work well to meet in the church, as our first lecture is going to be all about St. Mary’s. If you know anyone who would be likely to come to the lecture who doesn’t get our e-newsletter please alert them to the change of venue. We are very grateful to the Vicar and to Canon Jeff West for allowing us to use St. Mary’s.
Everyone in Banbury will know something about how in the 18th century the large medieval church fell into a ruinous state and was rebuilt more or less in the shape it has today. Canon Jeff West is going to tell us how architecture, theology and liturgy combined to build it and then to change it. The intellectual and theological climate when Banbury’s new church was designed in the 1790s had changed radically by the 1850s and 60s. The 19th-century transformation of the interior of the church reflected both a different way of doing theology and a different way of thinking about architecture and sacred space.
Jeff West is an architectural historian who worked as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments and for English Heritage for over 30 years. In 2005 he resigned to train for the church and he has been one of the clergy at St. Mary’s since 2007. He was Area Dean of Deddington from 2012 – 17.
The lectures in October and November will take place in the Museum as usual, but members will have to enter via the towpath and the cafe.
With best wishes