|Everywhere in England is a microcosm of England's history. The most innocuous English village hides stories behind its hedgerows which once affected the whole nation's history. So it is with Littlemore. These days, the many hundreds of motorists who speed by on the Oxford Ring Road scarcely give Littlemore a thought. It is a road sign off a roundabout to them. But to those who live there, and those who know its story, Littlemore has played a pivotal role in the religious life of these Islands, the scene of crucial events in the story of Christianity.
For it was when he was Vicar of Littlemore, that John Henry Newman preached his last sermon in the Church of England, told his congregation that he was "setting out in his own dreary way" and, in the words of Arthur Mee, "parted with all that his heart loved and turned his face to a strange land" Here were debated the burning issues of the day. Together with Pusey, Keble, Froude, and others of the so called "Oxford Movement" Newman grappled with the questions of Apostolic Succession and the integrity of the Prayer Book, and whether the Anglo Catholic Church could ever stand alone. Newman's decision to part with the Church of England was a blow under which it reeled for a generation, and which split the Oxford Movement asunder. Now author George Tull has provided this handy monograph to cover those eventful years when Newman could be seen going about the village on his business, painting a vivid picture of that era.