Parishioner writes book about Melton’s St John the Baptist Catholic Church

St John the Baptist Catholic Church  PHOTO: Tim Williams

St John the Baptist Catholic Church PHOTO: Tim Williams

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A church parishioner of 40 years has published an informative book titled “St John the Baptist Catholic Church, Thorpe End, Melton Mowbray - A Short History and Guide.”

Frances Levett has spent around two years exploring, photographing and researching St John the Baptist Catholic Church.

The book is about the church’s architecture and its content closely scrutinizes Catholicism, stained glass windows, changes through the centuries and its construction in 1839.

There is also reference to its Augustus Welby Pugin connection and theories to some of its mysteries.

Frances, who lives in Melton, currently works as the parish secretary at the church and is a housekeeper at the Rosmini Centre House Of Prayer, which is part of Ratcliffe College. This is her first self-publishing venture.

She said: “The writing of the book was fascinating, as various people came forward with memories and stories, and I became aware that I was recording these things just in time before they were forgotten, so that future generations will be able to know about this little architectural treasure we have in our town.

“The inspiration for the book came from a number of visitors to the church who kept asking me questions about its age and history. That got me curious and so I decided to put together a book to answer their queries.

“The church is areal gem, embodying the hopes, dreams and aspirations of generations of Catholics who kept the faith alive through penal times. The cusped roof timbers, plasterwork, stained glass and general architecture are totally beautiful and speak of devotion as Pugin intended.

“The building is very much at the heart of the community today and if the walls could speak, what stories they would tell!”

St John’s is in a good state of repair and has recently received the gift of a pipe organ of a date contemporary with the church. It is used for both Sunday and weekday Masses and services, and many weddings and funerals take place there.

Priced at £3.50 the book is due to go on sale in The Melton Bookshop, with the proceeds going to the church. Further details about the book can be obtained by contacting Frances at: 31 Eastfield Avenue, Melton Mowbray, LE13 1TD.