In 1550, following the death of Henry VIII, a nationwide purge by puritans destroyed all the old service books in the English Church. Of the thousands in use in the north of England, just a single copy of The York Processional survived in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
When the Revd Andrew Horsman retired from parish ministry in 2015 he turned his hand to producing a new edition of The York Processional which has just been published after three-and-a-half years' work.
Andrew explains, "I worked on this and similar sources when priest-in-charge of All Saints North St, York (2003-15) and saw the need for a modern edition."
He makes the entire contents of this unique manuscript available for the first time to modern readers and singers, with the original Latin and its English translation on facing pages.
The York Processional is based on a unique manuscript nearly 650 years old, containing chants sung in processions during church services week by week in parish churches in York and all over the north of England, for several centuries until the upheavals of the Reformation.
A full introduction explains how the chants were used and how they might be used today. It also attempts the fascinating detective task of tracking down both the original home of this lone copy, and how it managed to survive against all the odds to end up in the Bodleian Library.