A Church Near You

22 May 2023

'A Church Near You’ is an introduction to England’s historic churches, illustrated with beautiful, original watercolours drawn by the author Denis Dunstone. 

Shorn of confusing architectural and ecclesiastical jargon, the elegant and impressive book will also raise interest in the future of historic church buildings.

The new book picks some of the most interesting Anglican churches built before 1700, with a focus on exteriors such as towers, spires and doorways, to help people enjoy their history and architecture and appreciate their vital place in our cultural heritage.

Proceeds from the sale of the book will raise funds for church buildings by supporting the work of the Churches Conservation Trust and the National Churches Trust, two charities that support church heritage.

  I want to get more people to visit churches and to make it easy for them to enjoy their amazing history and architecture. With the Church of England alone being custodians of over 12,000 listed buildings, churches are some of the most precious jewels in our nation’s heritage crown. We must keep churches alive as they are an amazing historical record and are full of great art and craftsmanship.

  I put together this book during the Covid-19 lockdown when churchyards were empty and quiet. I would go out with a campstool, pen and paper and sit in the midst of nature painting in watercolours. Many were painted on site, but those far from home at home from photographs. 

Denis Dunstone


Denis Dunstone has performed a signal service. He has described churches clearly and in lay terms. He has rightly concentrated on exteriors, for they are what local people see, often many times a day. Through his eyes, we see the extraordinary variety of English churches down the ages. To him they are not, as many can seem, austere edifices bathed in silent shadows. They are rich evocations of the past. His towers are beckoning, his porches inviting, his stones coated in sun and colour. All convey his personal delight. They are truly treasures. 

Sir Simon Jenkins

Publication date: 31 May 2023 - Umbria Books. 

Hardback, £19.99 ISBN Number 978 1 910074 45 9 Trade sales: [email protected]