Fascinating insight into village church

ONE man's love for his local church has translated into a book comprehensively examining its history down the centuries.

Will Clarke

ONE man's love for his local church has translated into a book comprehensively examining its history down the centuries.

St Andrew's Church, Great Cornard - A Devotional Study, Guide and History by Rod O'Donoghue has taken three-and-a-half years to write and is illustrated with over 70 colour pictures.

The 51-year-old short story writer and poet said: “St Andrew's Church, which was built in the early years of the 14th Century, is the oldest and most prominent building in Great Cornard.

“However, very little has been documented about the church, although Reginald Chaplin partially corrected this in 1979 by producing his 24 page book.

“There are descriptions and plans of how the church has changed over the years. In fact there is something for everyone within these packed pages.

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“Church guides tend to be 10 to 20 pages long, so thinking of the book as a guide would be misleading. There is a great deal of original research in the book.”

The book is to be given to all schools in Great Cornard, the Sudbury and Great Cornard Libraries, the Local History Society the Suffolk Record Office and a number of other organisations. And a hardback copy will be available for use in the church at all times.

Val Herbert, a local historian, said: “The analysis of the buildings, the significance of its features and the evolution of worship reveals so much that goes unseen by the lay person and many who count themselves knowledgeable. I believe the book has a significance far beyond local interest.”

Rev Jamie Allen, vicar of St Andrew's said: “It is no exaggeration to say that a great depth of love and work lies behind each of the 234 pages of this impressive book.”

The book will be formally launched at the 10.30am Candlemas Service at St Andrew's church on February 1.