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WARWICKSHIRE CHURCH DESIGNED ‘ON A PUB NAPKIN’ IS AMONG THE LATEST TO JOIN THE PRAYER BOOK SOCIETY image

WARWICKSHIRE CHURCH DESIGNED ‘ON A PUB NAPKIN’ IS AMONG THE LATEST TO JOIN THE PRAYER BOOK SOCIETY

19th April 2020

A Warwickshire church said to have been designed by Sir Christopher Wren on a napkin as
he dined at the local pub with lord of the manor John Saunders is among those which have
joined the Prayer Book Society (PBS) as corporate members in recent weeks, pushing their
number past the 100 mark.

The church of St John Baptist in the village of Honiley near Kenilworth was built at Saunders’
own expense in 1723, but local residents are sceptical about the truth of the ‘designed on a
napkin’ story.

‘We take it with a pinch of salt,’ says Sheila Cole, PCC secretary at St John Baptist and
chairman of the Coventry branch of the PBS. Its members attend a special service arranged
for them in August each year.

The PBS helped the church to maintain its tradition of using the Prayer Book for services
since 1723 by donating copies of the BCP to it in 1996.

‘We experimented with Common Worship many years ago but there was little enthusiasm for
it and we reverted to Prayer Book services,’ explains Sheila. ‘The BCP retains its popularity
with the worshippers who attend our Sunday services. Depending on the Sunday in the
month, they include Holy Communion, Matins and Evensong.’

PHOTO CAPTION
St John Baptist Church, Honiley

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