Author Bill Bryson names St Andrew’s Church in Whissendine as one of his favourites

Books at Whisendine Church, Rutland

Books at Whisendine Church, Rutland

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Best-selling author Bill Bryson has named a Rutland church as one of his favourite churches.

The renowned book writer included St Andrew in Whissendine in his 14 favourite churches for new church tourism website, ‘ExploreChurches’.

The talented writer of travel, English language and science heaped praise on the beauty of the church and the book-lending service it offers to users.

Mr Bryson said: “This overlooked corner of England has an abundance of outstanding churches, but this is my favourite. It enjoys an imposing setting at the top of the village and boasts the tidiest churchyard I have ever seen.”

Mr Bryson added that the inside of the the church is unusually light and capacious, adding that the large collection of books and cds in the nave which villagers can borrow is “very thoughtful”.

Janet Tebby, reverend at the church said: “ We are delighted that somebody of his great reputation is recognising what lovely churches we have in this area. It is a beautiful church and we are very proud of it and we are very grateful that he has recognised the hard work of people that keep the church beautiful.”

Villagers are allowed to help themselves to a collection of books in the church as part of a loan scheme which was set byRev Tebby.

Rev Tebby explained that the service was set up as an amenity for the village and a way of raising money for the church fund if people wanted to make a donation.

“There isn’t a library in the village and it is a good use of the church building for the use of the village,” she said.

Bill’s other favourite churches include Durham Cathedral, and The Italian Chapel in Orkney.

To view the website visit www.explorechurches.org