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Travel Through The Houses of Parliament

By Andrew Atherstone
October 2011 | Review by Stuart Fisher

Synopsis

The Houses of Parliament, on the banks of the River Thames at Westminster, are among the most iconic buildings in the world. They have stood for generations at the centre of the United Kingdom’s national political life, and have often been called ‘the cradle of democracy’. This book tells the history of Parliament from the Middle Ages to the present day, including such dramatic events as the Gunpowder Plot, the Civil War, the assassination of the Prime Minister, the suffragette protests and the Blitzkrieg. It shows especially how the Christian faith has shaped parliamentary debates and ideals through the centuries

  • Publisher: Day One publications
  • ISBN: 978-1-84625-275-4
  • Pages: 128
  • Price: 10.00
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Book Review

This book continues the high quality that we have come to expect from the Day One travel series. Aimed at the interested general reader, it makes an ideal introduction to the subject. It is a clear and gripping narrative that tells the fascinating story of British parliamentary democracy. The beauty of the book is that the author cleverly weaves together the constitutional and political history with the Christian ethos and values of the nation which underlay much of the parliamentary development. This makes it a valuable book for Christians reminding us that the foundation of our democracy was in fact the biblical protestant tradition. It can also be used as a means of indirect evangelism, showing how the democratic values we take for granted today were largely born out of a Christian heritage.

      The chapters conveniently divide the book into manageable blocks, tracing the history from earliest Saxon times to present day. Of particular interest to the Christian will be the middle chapters on the Reformation, Gunpowder plot and the Civil War. These should serve as tasters for a further study into a period rich and highly significant for the Christian. It is lavishly illustrated and interspersed with information boxes on specific aspects of parliamentary customs. There are helpful maps and diagrams and a good appendix for further reading.

      I found this book a fascinating read. In current days of political correctness and Christian marginalisation it was a refreshing reminder of the way in which biblical Christianity has shaped our history and given us such a rich heritage. It should also be a challenge to us to continue to fight for the freedoms that have been won for us in the past. This book serves as a helpful introduction to British church history. A judicious selection of references for further reading in this area would have enhanced the value of the book. The price is still reasonable and the book is worth the read. I would recommend it without hesitation.

 

Stuart Fisher,

Bournemouth

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