Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey

Richard Jenkyns
ISBN 1861976488
Profile Books, 2004

Category: Language & Reference

This is the third volume in Profile's "Wonders of the World" series and presents a fascinating, if not quite rivetting, illustrated (black & white photographs) account of one of our best loved national monuments and centres of Christian spirituality.

Jenkyns — a Professor at Oxford University — reviews Westminster Abbey's architecture, history and splendour, describing architecture as "like music, an experience in time, but unlike music buildings allow us to choose the pace and sometimes even the order in which we enjoy them." (p.32). Likewise this book compared to a visit: it can be read cover to cover, but it's also ideal for dipping into at the reader's leisure.

Westminster Abbey, however, is about much more than architecture and history: it's about living worship — as Jenkyns concludes, "The best way to understand the Abbey's spiritual life is to experience it" (p.199).

Thoroughly indexed with a good bibliography, this volume faces stiff competition from the colour-illustrated tomes you'll inevitably find it sitting alongside in cathedral bookshops — but at the price you're unlikely find better overall value.

Profile Books

Phil Groom, October 2004

Phil Groom is this site's Webmaster and Reviews Editor. He's a freelance blogger, writer and web developer who spent ten years managing the bookshop at London School of Theology alongside eight years writing web reviews for Christian Marketplace magazine before he came to his senses and went independent. You can find him on facebook or follow him on twitter @notbovvered.

From a review previously published in Christian Marketplace Magazine
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