Farnham and its history were bound up with the Bishops of Winchester for more than a thousand years.

Until the Reformation, these men were also prominent statesmen holding important secular positions. 

After the Reformation the age of the great Bishop-Statesmen was over but prominent men continued to occupy the See of Winchester. George Morley and Lancelot Andrewes are good examples. 

Perhaps the last of these great post-reformation bishops was Charles Sumner, who chose to live at Farnham Castle with his family, and became a well-loved local figure. He brought an energy and ability to his role which harked back to the great days of the medieval bishops. 

No biography of Sumner has been written since the 19th century – until now. The Right Revd Dr Christopher Herbert, himself the former Bishop of St Albans, has written a comprehensive account of the life of Farnham’s own bishop, explaining his role in secular and church politics as well as in debates over theology.  

This is a major publishing event;  like Cobbett, Sumner’s influence extended far beyond Farnham. Bishop Christopher Herbert’s book Building Jerusalem: The life and times of Charles Sumner, Bishop of Winchester 1790-1874 is beautifully written and illustrated.  

Charles Sumner will be the subject of the Bishop’s talk, organised by the Farnham and District Museum Society, on Friday, November 17 at 2.30pm at the Garden Gallery, Museum of Farnham. This will also be the occasion of the book launch and copies of the book will be available for purchase at a price of £13. 

Visitors are welcome to attend both the launch and lecture. Those wishing to buy a copy are asked to pay by cash or cheque.

At St Thomas-on-the Bourne on the following Sunday, November 19, at 11.15am, copies will also be available to buy.