The Friends have published a new book on the history of St. Julian's Church

ST. JULIAN’S CHURCH, NORWICH by Sheila Upjohn and Nicholas Groves  (Foreword : Christopher Wood)  Published by The Friends of Julian of Norwich, 2018

This important new resource for Julian pilgrims and scholars was launched on 11th May during the Julian Festival.  In his introductory address, Professor Brian Thorne spoke as follows:

“It had been the desire and intention of Sheila Upjohn to conduct the launch of her co-authored book herself but, sadly, personal reasons have prevented her making the lengthy journey from Australia at this time.   She has asked me to step into her shoes and I do so with a sense of privilege and not a little trepidation.  It is a great comfort to know that when I have said my piece, Sheila’s co-author, Nicholas Groves, will be giving you the writer’s authentic insight into this remarkable work.

Remarkable it is on many different counts.  First of all, it is something of a technological triumph for two co-authors to have created such a wonderful piece of work while living 10,000 miles apart.  It is a tribute to the knowledge and passion they each have for this place and all its associations that their collaboration has borne such splendid fruit despite the enormous geographical distance between them.

Secondly, the book is remarkable for its extensiveness and its inclusivity.  It is the history of a building, going back over more than a thousand years, often going into great detail and it is the history of a city from medieval times;  it is a finely honed introduction to the writings and influence of Lady Julian;  it provides fascinating vignettes of many past Rectors;  it brings us right up to date with, for example, the recent history of the Friends of Julian of Norwich and the opening of the Lady Julian Bridge.  Most significantly, at this time, it emphasises the key role of the Community of All Hallows in the preservation of the Church and Shrine and in its rebuilding after the bombing in the Second World War.  What is more, the book brings together an astonishing collection of photographs (thanks to the work of Andrew Jay) – of people, furnishings, manuscripts, icons, monuments, windows, maps as well as detailed illustrations of the church building, both internal and external.

In short, this is a treasure house of a book, a feast to satisfy almost every appetite.  Those who love the ‘broad sweep’ and those who thrive on meticulous detail are all catered for.  As, in a moment, I make way for Nicholas Groves I shall not spare his blushes.  Nick, you have produced a magnificent addition to the resources of St. Julian’s and we shall be singing its praises, I have no doubt, for decades to come.  Thank you both for a fine accomplishment and our warmest congratulations.”

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