Celebrating the Fine Churches of the North

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Morton Remember When Editor david.morton.editorial@ncjmedia.co.uk

EVEN if you're not a practising Christian, there's something undeniably appealing about visiting an old church.

The peace, quiet and sense of history can often have a deeply calming effect on the visitor.

The region has its fair share of wonderful old churches, of course, many of which feature in the pages of a recently released book.

Packed full of superb pictures, Dr Stan Beckensall's Northumberland Churches, through Amberley Publishing, is on sale now.

Northumberland was one of the greatest influences on the development of Christianity in Europe. The Lindisfarne Gospels were produced on Holy Island, while the Venerable Bede served in Jarrow.

Dr Beckensall guides the reader through the history of the North's old churches, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the Reformation.

Stan, who is retired, lives in Hexham and has four children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

He said: "I have been living in Northumberland since 1966, following a career in teaching in Sussex and Malta, as head of English departments.

"I graduated from Keele University with honours in English and History.

"I then served as a National Service Flying Officer (Education) in the RAF. " Stan came to Alnwick College of Education as a senior lecturer in English for 11 years, then after its closure went into Middle Schools locally as a headteacher.

His interest in Northumberland history was a prime focus as an archaeologist, and prehistoric rock art became his specialisation, although his interest in landscapes and people took him into much wider areas. …