In this well illustrated book Jack Spence provides an inspirational look at the 1,200 years of the history of St. Andrew’s Church, Plymouth - since 2009 one of Britain's newest Minsters.  There has been a church on this site since Saxon times and it is indeed the history of Plymouth itself.   All important events civic and national have been commemorated there.


With diligent research, Jack has undertaken to present a very human insight into what it was like for successive congregations to experience the often profound changes in both church and country of their time, and the adaptations of the building itself.   

Ecclesiastical changes include transition from monastic authority and the Papal supremacy to Henry VIII, the Reformation and Protestantism under various monarchs and leaders including the Puritans and Oliver Cromwell.    National and local changes have included two world wars, a civil war which included a two year period when Plymouth was under siege, the plague and several cholera epidemics.  

With a notable succession of clergy, Jack tells of the influence and talents that they have each brought to their diverse ministries and the challenges of their times.  He also draws out human stories from church and other records of hedgehog catchers, thefts from church funds, quarrels in the pews, conversions and souls restored by inspired preaching as well as by great choral singing, and gifted organists and ministers who in spite of their own bereavements strove to use their talents for the greater good.  

He recounts an impressive number of Royal or VIP visitors and parishioners, and a curious little known or understood annual payment of a sum of £8 paid to Plymouth council unchanged over 600 years, and why St Andrews is not a Cathedral.   But surely the most moving accounts are of the years when the roofless and windowless church, bombed in 1941, defiantly became a garden church with packed congregations worshipping within its ancient walls; and the ‘Resurgam’(I will rise again)motto adopted from a notice hung on the church at that time.     

  This book is a must for anyone who has ever had anything to do with St Andrews and Plymouth and for anyone with an interest in history and churches.

PLYMOUTH MINSTER - A HISTORY OF ST ANDREW'S was launched on 18th March 2011 70 years after the start of the Plymouth Blitz which started on on Thurs March 20th /Friday March 21st 1941.

Now retails at £10 +p&p £2.00 (All profits will go to the Charities supported by Plymouth Minster)