Upcoming lectures

Explore topics connected with our churches through our free weekly online lecture series

Our lectures are all free to get involved with and we Livestream them via our Facebook page, this allows you to really engage with the talk and to submit your questions live. These lectures are recorded and will be available to watch afterward. Scroll down to find a list of previous lectures. 

These lectures and talks are all completely free of charge for you to watch, enjoy and take part in. If you are enjoying them, please do consider making a donation here of whatever amount you feel comfortable making if you are enjoying these talks. 

In response to the popularity of our lectures, we've launched a special Membership offer just for people who are enjoying our free lectures. If you sign up as a Member by Direct Debit, from as little as just £3.50 a month, and use the offer code LECTURE we'll send you a free copy of The Secret Language of Churches and Cathedrals: Decoding the Sacred Symbolism of Christianity's Holy Buildings by Dr Richard Stemp!

Please note that your book will not be delivered until August, this is due to a brand new print run being printed especially for us. You will receive your welcome pack and other benefits in the meantime however.

Details of how to become a member, benefits of membership, and how to claim your FREE GIFT can be found here

Upcoming Lectures

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

In old buildings many subtly carved marks can be found on stone, plaster and timber with a variety of meanings and purposes. There are masons’ marks, carpenter’s marks, merchants marks, shipping marks, historic graffiti (covers a wide range) and then there are protection marks.

In this short presentation Brian Hoggard will explain the differences between those broad categories of marks and then focus on the range of protection marks you might come across in churches. These include; Marian marks, Christograms, daisy-wheels and circles, burn marks, shoe outlines, hand outlines, mesh marks and pentagrams. The thinking required to understand them requires the suspension of some of your logic and science knowledge.

Brian has been working with CCT since July 2019 but has been conducting research into the archaeology of magical building protection since 1999. He has a popular website at www.apotropaios.co.uk and in 2019 his book, Magical House Protection – The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft was published by Berghahn Books. When not in lock-down he lectures widely for groups all over the UK and Europe. In recent years clients have included the National Trust, English Heritage, Institute for Historic Buildings Conservation, SPAB, Museum of Witchcraft, Henry Moore Institute, Aarhus University (Denmark) and the Romanian Academy in Iasi.

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

Join Professor William Whyte of Oxford University as we explore how the Oxford Movement impacted and shaped the modern Church. 

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

A W N Pugin (1812-1852) is now most famous as the co-designer of the Houses of Parliament. His greatest influence, however, was as a church architect. In his short life he transformed church design across Britain and Ireland and his influence extended to America and Australia. Born an Anglican he became a Catholic but the Drummond Chapel, his only work in the care of the CCT, was built for a millenarian sect in Surrey. Rosemary Hill, Pugin’s biographer, will talk about his life and work and his belief in the sacred power of architecture.

Rosemary Hill is a writer, historian and independent scholar with an interest in biography, material culture and the connections between them.

She has written two prize-winning books: God’s Architect, a life of the Gothic Revival architect, A W N Pugin and Stonehenge, a history of one of Britain’s greatest and least understood monuments. Her last book, Unicorn: The Poetry of Angela Carter, was published in 2015. Her next book, Time’s Witness: how Romanticism changed history, will be published in June by Allen Lane.

She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Society of Antiquaries, a member of English Heritage's Blue Plaques Panel, a trustee of the Pugin Society and a Quondam fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

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

Charles Eamer Kempe was an influential but controversial figure in the world of Victorian stained glass. His friendship and collaboration with the architect George Frederick Bodley helped to establish a distinctive High Anglican aesthetic that has yet to disappear entirely, but his life and legacy continue to divide opinion. This lecture will focus on the work of his Studio from the late 1860s onwards, looking at the evolution of the Kempe style in its Anglican context and assessing the contribution of those friends and close associates who worked for him up to his death in 1907 and beyond. In doing so, it will offer a reassessment of Kempe’s achievement and reputation today.

The speaker will be Adrian Barlow, who has long experience of lecturing and writing on literature, architecture and stained glass, with a particular emphasis on the nineteenth century. Past President of the English Association, his books include Extramural: Literature and Lifelong Learning (2012), Kempe: The Life, Art and Legacy of Charles Eamer Kempe (2018) and Espying Heaven: the Stained Glass of Charles Eamer Kempe and his Artists (2019), all published by the Lutterworth Press.

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Thursday 22nd July from 12:50pm - The politics of Redundancy: The Church Commissioners and the realities of parish life, 1948-1998

The Church Commissioners played a ubiquitous part in the life of the Church of England across the second half of the twentieth century. Established by the union of the Church Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty in 1948, the body was devised to oversee questions of pastoral reorganization in every diocese while meeting the stipends of a growing number of bishops, financing - in part - the work of cathedrals, and supporting new schemes of various kinds throughout the Church. Much of this was facilitated by a bold policy of investments which proved brilliantly successful until, at a crucial point, it proved disastrously unsuccessful. In short, the Church Commissioners were responsible for a great deal which defined the affairs of the Church of England at large. They were also blamed for a great deal that went wrong, even when they had nothing to do with it. The closure of churches fell into this pattern. Who, then, decided why certain churches should shut - and on what grounds did they do it? And what happened when such decisions provoked resistance?

Andrew Chandler is Professor of Modern History at the University of Chichester. He was for some years the Director of the George Bell Institute, first at the Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Education in Birmingham and then at the University of Chichester. He has published widely in the field of twentieth-century religious history, often focusing on the British churches and their experience of international politics. His substantial study,  The Church of England in the Twentieth Century: The Church Commissioners and the Politics of Reform, 1948-1998 was first published in 2006. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. 

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Thursday 29th July from 12:50pm - BELLS, SMELLS & PERSECUTION: Glimpses into the Anglican Catholic Revival

Over the past 160 or so years, the Catholic Revival (embracing the Oxford Movement, Tractarians, Prayer-Book Catholics, Anglo-Papalists – or what most people call ‘Anglo Catholics’ or ‘High Church’) has gradually enriched the very ‘comprehensive school’ that is the Church of England. It has brought many people to their knees through beautiful churches, exquisitely furnished and adorned, through moving worship, music, craftsmanship and devotion, and its ministry of caring and social justice, especially in deprived areas.

There cannot be a church or parish today that has not been influenced by it to a greater or lesser extent. Yet its amazing story involves tremendous opposition and persecution, including riots, court cases, desecration of churches and acts of worship, bishops inhibiting their clergy and refusing to consecrate churches.

Its story is fascinating and we hope to show you some of the events, churches and remarkable characters who have been part of a Movement which fascinates and intrigues many church-folk and non church-folk alike!

This free lecture is given by Roy Tricker. Born in Essex, Roy Tricker grew up in Hertfordshire before moving to his beloved Suffolk at the age of 10. A teacher for most of his working life and for 18 years Head of Religious Education at a High School in Ipswich, Roy then spent 11 years as South East Regional Field Officer with the Churches Conservation Trust. He took early retirement in 2002, has been a Licensed Reader in the Church of England since 1970 and is a Lay Canon of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds.

A crusading church-crawler since the age of four, Roy now spends his time sharing his passion for these amazing buildings, praising and promoting them from the pulpit, projector and coach seat. He gives countless lectures and slide shows, has written over 200 church guidebooks and published works, and has featured on both radio and TV. He firmly believes that the love of churches is absorbing and infectious for people of all religions and of none, and also that every old church is the most interesting in the country, because each has a unique character, well worth getting to know and love.

Photo of Roy: EADT/Sarah Lucy Brown

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