Dr Ben Colburn
I've had an interest in church art and architecture since I was a young teenager exploring the churches of Suffolk and Norfolk while visiting my grandparents. I'm an agnostic, as it happens - so this project is not one of devotion (not to any religious vision, at any rate). This website was worked on whilst I did a Masters degree and then a Doctorate in Philosophy at King's College, Cambridge - which made a good base for visiting the churches of the area.
I've always had an interest in Old Things. Given the predominance of christianity in Britain over the last thousand years churches are usually the one thing in a town or village that gives you a cross section of that place's history. I'm especially fascinated by what's no longer there, or only vestigially present - rood stairs and screens, wall paintings, Easter Sepulchres - the physical echoes of lost liturgies. As Larkin puts it:
...superstition, like belief, must die,
And what remains when disbelief has gone?
Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky,
A shape less recognizable each week,
A purpose more obscure.