Change & Decay: The Future of Our Churches - Marcus Binney & Peter BurmanStudio Vista, 1977, Paperback.
Condition: Very Good. Light reading creases to the spine. A little faded at the spine and on to the margins of the wrappers. Edges of the text block lightly tanned. Previous owners' inscription to the first blank.
First in this, paperback, edition. Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Facsimiles; Diagrams; Plans;
From the cover: “What is happening to your church ? Has it been closed? Or demolished? Can you be sure that this is not about to happen? Has the communion plate been sold? Is the interior about to be reordered to fit in with new ideas of worship? Do you know that the monuments in the church are often as important as the paintings in a gallery? That many churchyards are the oldest and often the only uncultivated grassland in the area containing many rare species of flora?
Yet churches everywhere are falling into decay and disuse. The Church of England alone declared 592 churches redundant between 1968 and 1976. Nonconformist chapels are closing at an even faster rate, particularly in Wales. Half of the churches in Scotland are threatened with closure in the next twenty-five years. Countryside and city, Anglican, Catholic and Nonconformist are all equally subject to the gathering momentum of this despoliation.
The loss does not just affect churchgoers. Our churches are a vital part of our national heritage; they are often fine and important pieces of architecture, and always contain something of value — be it a metalwork screen, elegant pews, ceramic tiles, plate, monuments, or just a fascinating graveyard. Up until the present day churches were built as the focal point of the village or high street, and their destruction or transformation entails a change in the character of the whole community. Even the meanest Victorian church is an asset we cannot afford to lose.
Change and Decay has been specially compiled by the organizers of the 1977 exhibition. Contributions from prominent churchmen and lay experts examine the reasons underlying the loss of churches — rarely just a necessary concomitant to declining congregations — and address the conflicting solutions proposed: conservation or preservation, partial or total adaptation, or alternative use. No easy solution can be proposed, but what emerges is a crisis that nobody concerned with our environment can ignore.”