BRAVERY and heroism are aplenty in the debut novel of a Lowton author.

Andrew Fogarty spent five years crafting and researching his first book which is set during the time of the Spanish Armada when Elizabeth I and her ministers are trying to entrench a new religion - the Church of England.

It tells the story of Thomas Rufford, a Catholic and the eldest son in a recusant - a word used to describe those that refused to attend Church of England services - Lancashire family.

In an attempt to defend his faith and find out more about his beliefs, Thomas heads off on a perilous journey across England with his younger brother, a Jesuit priest who is wanted by the authorities.

“The brothers encounter secret hiding place, priest hunters and of the Tower of London on their journey and they risk their lives to try and find the meaning behind their faith,” said the 53-year-old dad-of-two.

“I have always been interested in books and I read one a few years ago that was about the gunpowder plot.

“It is a story we all know from our childhood but the book was more about the people behind the plot - the people who hid and helped them.

“From there I did lots of research and started writing the book.

Andrew, a building surveyor, spent five years researching and writing the book.

“Most of it was written at weekends and late at night because I had to fit it round a full-time job but it is something I really wanted to do,” said Andrew, of Ranworth Drive.

“The research took the most time because I would sit down to write and then get to a bit where I needed to find out more.

“There are lots of feasts in the book so I would research the kind of food they would eat in that period and how the feasts would be held.

“I think it will appeal to people who like history and bravery, heroism and a battle against the odds to preserve something you believe in.”

The Greater Glory, published in July by 2QT Publishing of Lancaster, is available online and from bookshops.