John Nourse was born deep in the countryside of Devon, England in 1922, ordained into the Church of England in Winchester Cathedral in 1949, lived in Windsor Castle and the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral, amongst other places, and died back in Devon in 2006. "A Love of High Places" is the delightful account of his life, as told to his sons, and describes his solitary upbringing at home where, until the age of eleven, he was educated privately in a manner rarely seen today; his four years at public school, which he detested; and his time as a choral scholar at St John's College, Cambridge, which he loved, before volunteering for the Royal Navy during World War II when he narrowly escaped death in the Atlantic the week before VE Day. After the war, following in his elder brother's, father's and great-grandfather's footsteps, he became a priest."
A Love of High Places" not only describes his homes, his friends, his dogs and his interests but is the story of his ministry: five years as priest-in-charge of a small village in stockbroker country; mixing with the royal family during eleven years at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle; his time in charge of the music and liturgy at Canterbury Cathedral, the senior cathedral in the Anglican Communion; and his fifteen fulfilling years as a parish priest in the Kent countryside, the "Garden of England". His fifteen years of retirement "back home" in his beloved Devon he describes as the happiest years of his life. In these quaintly written memoirs, John Nourse captures the evocative smells of the English countryside, the raw beauty of the coastline and the moor, the thrill and fear of wartime naval service and the fairy-tale excitement of Windsor Castle as well as subtly portraying something of the clergy and character of the Church of England during the latter part of the 20th century.