Through the great men and women of the English Church we can see the continuous inspiration of the Catholic Faith in England as an unbroken tradition shaping life and work, history and culture, for more than fourteen centuries. In this book a group of distinguished authors with varying interests, champion the achievements of nineteen seminal figures in the history of the English Church - from the seventh century to the present time - who through their Catholic witness have made a contribution to the spiritual, intellectual, ethical and physical welfare of the nation which can be fairly described as 'heroic'. Heroism takes many different forms. Self-evidently heroic are the martyrs of the penal years who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Faith; others earn their place in this book because their achievements in many different fields of endeavour are truly heroic - in education and social teaching, in architecture and literature, and in challenging the nation's conscience and our national consciousness. The continuity of the Catholic witness in England is often overlooked because of the dislocation caused by the English Reformation, the three subsequent centuries of suppression of the Church, and the rewriting of history to create a new national myth. However, in these lives we can see the impact of Catholicism across the centuries and find inspiration for our own times. Clare Asquith, Lucy Beckett, Abbot Aidan Bellenger OSB, Andrew Breeze, Robert Gray, Bernard Green OSB, Alex Haydon, John Jolliffe, Edward Leigh MP, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Rory O'Donnell, Peter Phillips, William Sheils, James Stourton, Anthony Symondson SJ, James Tolhurst, and A. N. Wilson share with us their English Catholic Heroes. The companion volume, English Catholic Heroines, follows shortly.