Previous Talks and Lectures

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Previous Lectures

Our lectures are all free to watch and enjoy, we even record them for you to enjoy at a future date or if you can't join us live. Do consider making a donation here of whatever amount you feel comfortable making if you are enjoying these talks.

Image of Fr Charles Card-Reynolds

Friday 29th May at 1pm - Oak Apple Day - Celebrating the only Saint to have been canonised by The Church of England

with Fr Charles Card-Reynolds

Do you know much about Oak Apple Day which takes place on 29th May each year? Through this fascinating talk, explore the history of the day along with why King Charles the Martyr is regarded as such and what he did to earn this title.

This talk will is given by Fr Charles Card-Reynolds, Chaplain to The Society of King Charles the Martry and Parish Priest at St Bartholomew's on Stamford Hill

Watch the talk here


Image of Dr Emma J Wells

Thursday 4th June at 1pm - Did Henry VIII really “break” the Church?

with Dr Emma  J. Wells. 

Watch the lecture here


Image of Professor Paul Binski

Thursday 11th June, 1pm - Images on the Edge - churches, manuscripts, and the world of Chaucer's Japes

with Professor Paul Binski

Watch the lecture here


Thursday 18th June at 1pm - Contextualising Carved Cadaver Memorials in England

with Dr Christina Welch

Watch the lecture here


Thursday 25th June at 1pm - Uncommon Prayer - The Tudor Chapel Royal and the High Church tradition

with the Revd Canon Anthony Howe

Watch the lecture here


Image of Dr Emma J Wells

Thursday 2nd July at 1pm - The Business of Saints

with Dr Emma Wells

Watch the lecture here


Thursday 9th July at 1pm - Martin Travers and Back to Baroque

with Michael Yelton

Watch the lecture here


Thursday 16th July at 1pm - The Ringing Isle: An introduction to bells in Britain

with Gareth Davies

An introductory canter across the centuries, exploring aspects of church bells and bellringing? How did Britain come to have ‘bells so many and so tuneable’ (Thomas Fuller, 1640)? What purposes did they serve? What powers were they believed to have? And how are they faring today? 

Watch the lecture here


Image of Dr Emma J Wells

Thursday 23rd July at 1pm - Uncovering the Parish Church’s Naughty Bits

With Dr Emma Wells

Gazing at the inside or outside of an historic church, your eyes are likely to encounter strange beasts, frolicking figures and twisted foliage staring back at you from doorways, windows, friezes, corbel tables, roof bosses and stained glass – although plenty are just hidden enough to fool the eye. What are these strange images? Hidden messages and tongue-in-cheek depictions were actually widespread throughout medieval churches. Was the period simply rife with satire or did these etchings and carvings hold deeper meanings? Here, we will explore some of the most curious examples.

Watch the lecture here


Image of Michèle K. Spike

Thursday 30th July at 1pm - Matilda of Canossa and the Conservation of Ancient Churches

with Professor Michèle K. Spike

The medieval countess Matilda of Canossa (1046-1115) left a cultural legacy at her death that includes many of the monuments listed by UNESCO as among the heritage of our world.  These include cathedrals at the center of Florence, Ferrara, Lucca, Mantua, Modena, Pisa, and Volterra.  Known in Italy as the Gran Contessa, her memory is preserved in medieval structures throughout her ancestral lands that stretched from the foothills of the Alps to the northern border of Rome.


Watch the lecture here

Image of Jasmine Allen

Thursday 6th August at 1pm - Stained Glass in the English Parish Church – through the ages - Part One

with Dr Jasmine Allen, Curator, The Stained Glass Museum

This talk, in two parts, will draw attention to the enormously diverse collection of stained glass windows to be found in the English parish church, from the medieval to modern era. By looking at a number of windows both in situ and ex situ we will explore the history, stylistic and technical development of this art form in the context of the parish church, uncovering a rich artistic and social heritage. 

Part 1 explores the earliest stained glass to be found in England up to the Reformation era, revealing the evolving use of stained glass in gothic architecture and its role within the medieval church and society. 

Jasmine Allen is Director of The Stained Glass Museum (charity no. 1169842), the only museum dedicated to stained glass in the UK, which is located in Ely Cathedral. She studied at the University of York and has published on the exhibition of stained glass in the nineteenth century. She is also a committee member of the Glaziers’ Trust, Stained Glass Repository, and British Corpus Vitrearum. In her spare time she enjoys walking her border terrier ‘Bramble’ and during lockdown has taken up home brewing, playing darts in the garden shed and learning how to use a sewing machine!

Watch the lecture here


Image of Jasmine Allen

Thursday 13th August at 1pm - Stained Glass in the English Parish Church – through the ages - Part Two

with Dr Jasmine Allen, Curator, The Stained Glass Museum

This talk, in two parts, will draw attention to the enormously diverse collection of stained glass windows to be found in the English parish church, from the medieval to modern era. By looking at a number of windows both in situ and ex situ we will explore the history, stylistic and technical development of this art form in the context of the parish church, uncovering a rich artistic and social heritage. 

Part 2 looks at the Post-Reformation to the contemporary period, exploring the changes brought about during the Civil Wars and the subsequent restoration and revival of the 18th and 19th centuries, and modern renewal and approaches during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Watch the lecture here


Image of Dr Christina Welch

Thursday 20th August at 1pm - Death and the Maiden: Exploring Erotic Death Art, and the Gender of Death

With Dr Christina Welch

In this second talk given by Dr Christina Welch, we will explore the 'erotic' proto- and Reformation-era Death and the Maiden artworks produced by the artists known as the Little Masters. It will set these in their historical context and consider how they relate to the perceived gender of Death as male in this socio-religious context.

Watch the lecture here


Image of Proffessor Michèle K. Spike

Thursday 27th August at 1pm - Matilda of Canossa: the life of a woman who changed the course of history

with Professor Michèle K. Spike

Many of you who watched the lecture, Matilda of Canossa (1046-1115) and the Conservation of Ancient Churches, given by Michèle Spike on July 30, 2020 expressed an interest in learning more about the life of the Countess Matilda and about the “scandals in her life” which were discussed in the question and answer section.

Prof. Spike will discuss how Matilda and her mother, Beatrice, two women born into a feudal male hierarchy, managed to accomplish that transfer in the face of strong, at times overwhelming, male resistance. As in all human stories their road to victory involved sex, violence, war, and many rumors and innuendos which Prof. Spike will piece together to provide more details of Matilda’s extraordinary life.

The title of the lecture is based upon the exhibition curated by Prof. Spike at the Casa Buonarroti in Florence in 2016 and catalogue of the same name.

Watch the lecture here


Image of Dr Cindy Wood

Thursday 3rd September at 1pm - Harey Coppar, bell ringer and the historical graffiti in Winchester Cathedral

with Dr Cindy Wood

Winchester Cathedral has a large amount of historical graffiti across all areas of this building, now nearly 1,000 years old. A survey and photographic record of this graffiti can be analysed to help an understanding of how this building has been used and viewed across the centuries by people who were not etherise commemorated here. This talk will consider this graffiti as evidence for an alternative view of its history and will also allow a discussion on how it may be viewed, conserved or even discouraged in the future.

Watch the lecture here


Image of Professor William Whyte

Thursday 10th September at 1pm - Unlocking the Church: the lost secrets of Victorian sacred space

with Professor William Whyte

The Victorians completely transformed our churches: not only building thousands, but restoring – which often meant rebuilding – thousands more. Still more importantly, they transformed how the British understood and experienced their churches. No longer mere receptacles for worship, churches became active agents in their own right, capable of conveying theological ideas and designed to shape people's emotions.

In this talk, Professor William Whyte explores this forgotten revolution – and its effects on us today. Watch the lecture here


Thursday 24th September - Picking up the Pieces, the Dissolution of the Monasteries and its Aftermath

with Dr Hugh Willmott

Watch the lecture here


Image of Gabriel Byng

Thursday 1st October - Construction, Change and Crisis: Church building in the shadow of the Black Death

with Dr Gabriel Byng

Watch the lecture here


Image of Prof. Paul Binski

Thursday 8th October - A Tomb with a View: Medieval Death

with Prof. Paul Binski

This pre-All Hallows Eve talk will be about some of the most famous images of Death, how they came about and how they worked, looking especially at Christian attitudes to the body, the role of fear, and the way art itself comes up with ideas.

This talk is given by Professor Paul Binski FBA. 

Watch the lecture here


Image of Dr Cindy Wood

Thursday 15th October - A Medieval Guide to Escaping Purgatory: The practices of the late Medieval Cult of the Dead

with Dr Cindy Wood

Watch the lecture here


Image of Dr Francis Young

Thursday 22nd October - Macabre Church Lore: Ghosts, Witches and Monsters in England's Churches and Churchyards

with Dr Francis Young

Watch the lecture here


Image of Suzie Lennox

Thursday 29th October - Raiders of the Grave: Macabre tales of Bodysnatchers & what churches did to stop them

with Suzie Lennox

Watch the lecture here


Image of Sheldon K. Goodman

Thursday 5th November - Making Headway with a Headstone: How to Look Beneath and Beyond

with Sheldon K. Goodman

Watch the lecture here


Image of Kirsty Hartsiotis

Thursday 12th November - ‘Memorials of These Dark Days’: Art and Crafts First World War memorials in the Cotswolds

with Kirsty Hartsiotis

Watch the lecture here


Image of Nicholas Thistlethwaite

Thursday 19th November - The Box of Whistles: A short history of English church organs, 1500-1900

with Nicholas Thistlethwaite

Watch the lecture here


Image of Martin Renshaw

Thursday 26th November - Ghosts of Music and Shades of Light: the use of a parish church

with Martin Renshaw

Watch the lecture here


Image of Dr Francis Young

Thursday 3rd December - Christmas Ghosts

With Dr Francis Young.

Watch the lecture here


Image of Dr Emma J Wells

Thursday 3rd December at 7pm - The CCT Annual Lecture: Holy Inappropriate? “Secular” uses of the medieval church

With Dr Emma Wells

Watch the lecture here


Image of Peter Stanford

Monday 7th December - ANGELS a history

with Peter Stanford

In his latest book which launched on 3rd December 2020, Author and Journalist Peter Stanford's 'Angels: A History' searches out the origins of angels in religious thought, history, psychology and wider culture, and asks why, in an age of disbelief, they remain more compelling and comforting for many than God.

Watch the lecture here


 

Image of Nick Page

Thursday 10th December - Christmas: Tradition, Truth and Total Baubles

with Nick Page

We are all haunted by the ghost of Christmas as-it-never-was…Nick Page ditches the festive fake news!

Prized for his skills as a writer, speaker, unlicensed historian, applied ranter and general information monger, former BBC comedy writer Nick Page has written over 70 books, including most recently, his NEARLY INFALLIBLE HISTORY series.

Watch the lecture here


Image of Mark Head

Thursday 17th December - Curses, Legends & Murder: Folklore & Strange Tales of Thomas Becket

with Mark Norman

Watch the lecture here


Image of Professor Judith Herrin

Thursday 7th January - IMPERIAL CAPITAL, GOTHIC KINGDOM, BYZANTINE OUTPOST: The Challenge Of Understanding Early Christian Ravenna

with Professor Judith Herrin

From AD 402 to 751 the small city of Ravenna, on the NE coast of Italy, became the capital of the Roman Empire in the West, then the centre of a Gothic kingdom and finally the western outpost of Byzantine government from Constantinople. During these centuries the construction of many early Christian churches, palaces, tombs and fortifications made it a repository of exquisite art and architecture, erected on the orders of a wide range of elite officials and through the skilful efforts of many anonymous craftsmen. This talk aims to explain how such a concentration of early Christian art occurred and why it survived, when so many other centres failed.

This lecture is given by Professor Judith Herrin. Her latest book is Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe

Watch the lecture here


Dr Alan Mackley

Thursday 14th January - THE BATTLE FOR BLYTHBURGH CHURCH: Restoration VS. Conservation in Late-Victorian Suffolk

with Dr Alan Mackley

After decades of neglect, Blythburgh church, a grand fifteenth-century building in a small Suffolk village, was ‘mouldering into ruin’.  In 1881 the church was closed as unsafe.  Although the church was re-opened in 1884, proposals for restoration precipitated a twenty-five year long rancorous conflict between local vicars and restoration committees, and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.  Would the restoration of the church lead to the loss of medieval work and the means to understand its history through a study of its fabric, and transform the character of the church?  Was the alternative just ‘propping up a ruin’?

Watch the lecture here


Image of Jon Cannon

Thursday 21st January - STAYING IN STYLE: Architectural Fashion In Medieval Parish Churches

with Jon Cannon

Old parish churches are wonderful ways of experiencing the ways in which architectural tastes changed over many centuries. As well as being rewarding in their own right, these ever-shifting styles can be used to help put a date on the parts of a building as it develops. They also help make it a ‘time machine’ to medieval culture and medieval ideas. This lecture will outline the main identifying features of the succeeding styles- known as Anglo-Saxon, Norman or Romanesque, early Gothic or Transitional, Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular; it will also aim to give a picture of how these styles unfolded ‘in the present’, and how they might evoke the attitudes of the past.     

Watch the lecture here


Dr Johanna Dale

Thursday 28th January - SAINT OSWALD'S MANY HEADS: The Life & Afterlife Of A Seventh-Century Northumbrian King

with Dr Johanna Dale

King Oswald was a Christian king of Northumbria who died in battle in 642, and was soon recognised as a saint.  He was slain by the Mercian king Penda, who cut off Oswald's head and impaled it on a stake on the battlefield as a sign of his victory.  By the end of the Middle Ages 4 different religious foundations claimed possession of Saint Oswald’s head.  This talk explores the life and afterlife of a Northumbrian king, who became a cult figure not only in his native north-east of England, but also, and more surprisingly, across medieval Europe.

Watch the lecture here


Image of Richard Hayman

Thursday 4th February - A ROOD AWAKENING: The Pride of The Parish Church

with Richard Hayman

Join us on a historical tour exploring how and why Rood Screens came to be built that separated the congregation from the priests in parish churches. Through illustrated examples, some of the care and attention devoted to embellishing these screens by the parish congregations will be revealed. Finally, Richard Hayman explores the reasons why, since the Reformation, some screens have survived but the majority have not.

Watch the lecture here


Image of Alec Hamilton

Thursday 11th February - DREAMS, DISTRACTIONS & DESTRUCTION: Britain's Lost Arts & Crafts Churches

with Dr Alec Hamilton

Watch the lecture here


Image of Lisa McIntyre IHBC

Thursday 18th February - DIVINE DESIGNS: The Secret Lives Of Palaces

with Lisa McIntyre IHBC

Watch the lecture here


Image of Andrew Ziminski

Thursday 25th February - A LIFE IN RUINS

with Andrew Ziminski

Over the past thirty years Andrew Ziminski has worked as a stonemason-conservator as a partner of Minerva Stone Conservation.

In his talk Andrew will  give a behind the scenes look at how craft skills and conservation combine to care for some of the Churches he has worked on in the CCT’s estate. Including St Marys at Hemington, Somerset. A recent vestment where Andrew and his team are currently working.

Watch the lecture here


Image of Prof. Andrew Spicer

Thursday 4th March - TO SHOW THAT THE PLACE IS DIVINE: Consecration Crosses in English Parish Churches

with Prof. Andrew Spicer

Watch the lecture here


Image of Dr Eleanor Parker

Thursday 11th March - MEETING VIKINGS IN ENGLISH CHURCHES

with Dr Eleanor Parker

Watch the lecture here


Image of David Castleton

Thursday 18th March - CURIOSITIES IN CHURCHES AND CHURCHYARDS: Their Bizarre Legends and Weird Folklore

with David Castleton

Buy David's new book on the subject of this lecture here for just £8 plus P&P

Watch the lecture here


Image of Canon Jeremy Haselock

Thursday 25th March - MOST HIGHLY FAVOURED LADY: The Annunciation in the Art of our Medieval Churches

with Canon Jeremy Haselock

Watch the lecture here


Image of Dr Richard Stemp

Thursday 1st April - PAINTING THE PASSION WITH PASSION: Giotto and the Easter Story in Padua

with Dr Richard Stemp

Giotto’s frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, painted between 1303 and 1305, constitute one of the most beautiful, most coherent and most complete decorative schemes to have survived the ravages of time, the changes of taste, and the vagaries of flood, fire and other ‘Acts of God’. Giotto’s storytelling is always compelling, and the paintings profoundly moving – a perfect prelude to the Easter weekend. This lecture is given by Dr Richard Stemp.

Watch the lecture here


Image of Prof. Nigel Saul

Thursday 8th April - DECORATED IN GLORY: Church Building in Herefordshire in the Fourteenth Century

with Prof. Nigel Saul

In November 2020 Professor Saul published his new book: Decorated in Glory: Church Building in Herefordshire in the Fourteenth Century. You can buy a copy of this book via our shop here for just £10 plus P&P

Watch the lecture here


Image of Natalie Cohen

Thursday 15th April - PARISH CHURCHES, PRIORIES AND PALACES: The Archaeologies of Religion and Ritual

with Natalie Cohen

Watch the lecture here


Image of Dr Emma J Wells

Thursday 22nd April - DEFENDER OF THE FAITH? Henry VIII and the Parish Church

with Dr Emma Wells

Watch the lecture here


Image of Prof. Howard Williams

Thursday 29th April - EXCAVATING EARLY CHRISTIAN BRITAIN: The Unique and Enigmatical Pillar of Eliseg - A Rare Welsh Survival

with Prof. Howard Williams

Watch the lecture here


Image of Prof. Dodson

Thursday 6th May - THE ROYAL TOMBS OF ENGLAND

with Prof. Dodson

You can buy a copy of Prof. Dodson's book on this topic from our shop here

Watch the lecture here


Image of Prof. Alec Ryrie

Thursday 13th May - THE MANY MEANINGS OF "THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND"

with Prof. Alec Ryrie

Watch the lecture here


Image of Clare Price

Thursday 20th May - THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE: Church Design In The Twentieth Century

with Clare Price

Purchase the book on the CCT website here

Watch the lecture here


Image of Janet Gough OBE

Thursday 27th May - CLOISTERS: Remarkable Cathedral Survivors - our one-year weekly #LunchtimeLecture anniversary 

with Janet Gough

Purchase Cathedrals of The Church of England here

Watch the lecture here


Thursday 3rd June - FULL CIRCLE - LIVERPOOL METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL: History and Conservation

with Jon Wright

Watch the lecture here


Image of Loyd Grossman

Thursday 10th June - AN ELEPHANT IN ROME: Bernini, The Pope And The Making Of The Eternal City

with Loyd Grossman

Buy the book here

Watch the lecture here


Image of Dr John Munns

Thursday 17th June - ‘FROM JUDGEMENT TO PASSION’: The Evolution of the Rood in the High Middle Ages

with Dr John Munns

Watch the lecture here


Image of Brian Hoggard

Thursday 24th June from 12:50pm - Protection Marks in Churches and other Buildings

with Brian Hoggard

Watch the lecture here


Image of Professor William Whyte

Thursday 1st July from 12:50pm - The unlikely story of how Oxford invented the modern Church

with Professor William Whyte

Watch the lecture here


Image of Rosemary Hill

Thursday 8th July from 12:50pm - Romantics, Catholics, and Millenarians: Pugin and the Victorian Church

with Rosemary Hill

Watch the lecture here


Image of Adrian Barlow

Thursday 15th July from 12:50pm - Espying Heaven: The High Anglican aesthetic of Charles Eamer Kempe

with Adrian Barlow

Watch the lecture here


Thursday 22nd July - The Politics of Redundancy: The Church Commisioners & The Changing Realities Of Parish Life 1948 - 1998

with Proffessor Andrew Chandler

Watch the lecture here


Thursday 29th July - BELLS, SMELLS & PERSECUTION: Glimpses into the Anglican Catholic Revival

with Roy Tricker

Watch the lecture here


Thursday 5th August - 'Till Death Us Do Part? Love and the Medieval Tomb Monument

with Dr Jessica Barker

Watch the lecture here


Thursday 12th August - THE DEAD BENEATH OUR FEET: The English Ledgerstone, 1650-1850

with Dr Julian Litten

Watch the lecture here


Thursday 19th August - Military Effigies Of The Yorkist Age

with Adrian Barlow

Watch the lecture here