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.

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

Do you know much about Oak Apple Day which takes place on 29th May each year? Did you know that King Charles I is a saint? 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

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

When we think of the pre-Reformation parish church, prior to King Henry VIII’s supposed “stripping of the altars”, the image conjured is often of an arena of visual delights; filled to the brim with all the smells and bells of traditional Catholicism—a highly sensory type of worship that offered attractions to the eyes and ears, above all. This stands in sharp contrast to the often austere, suppressed perspective of sixteenth-century Protestantism, with its focus on the Word of God through text, prayer-books, and vernacular scripture. We tend to think of the post-Reformation parish church as an austere devotional environment, devoid of the images, relics, incense, music, vestments, tastes, and textures of late-medieval religion. But, how true is this picture? And was Henry VIII, who we love to blame for the changing of our church in the sixteenth century, really the perpetrator? This lecture will unravel the reality of his role—and who might actually be responsible.

This talk is given by Dr Emma  J. Wells. 

Watch the lecture here

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

Medieval England was famous for its marginal art - bizarre, funny and playful images crowd the borders of illuminated manuscripts and peek out at us in parish churches.  But what were they for?  Did they have deeper political meanings or were they there to amuse?

This talk is given by Professor Paul Binski FBA. He is Professor of the History of Medieval Art at Cambridge University.

Watch the lecture here

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

This talk explores the carved cadaver memorials in England. It places them in their theological and vernacular religious context, as well as providing a little information on where they sit in relation to images of the dead in medieval culture, and their connection to the body. It also touches on how they may have been sculpted. A few of the examples will be explored in some detail and the two at Winchester Cathedral will conclude the talk. There'll be lots of images and the talk will take an inter-disciplinary approach to a very unusual form of English mortuary art.

This talk is given by Dr Christina Welch, Senior Fellow in the Department of Theology, Religion and Philosophy at The University of Winchester. Dr Christina is a leading authority on late medieval carved cadavers, she recently developed a dedicated website exploring those found in England, Wales and Scotland dating from c. 1425 to 1558, as well as carved cadavers found in Ireland. Find out more about late medieval carved cadavers. Dr Christina is also the Programme Leader for the MA in Death, Religion and Culture at The University of Winchester. 

Watch the lecture here

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

In the 16th century, the Chapel Royal was both at the heart of the Ecclesiastical Establishment as the personal chapel of the Supreme Governor, but at the same time very much outside it, even for a time, maintaining, along with the Royal Colleges of Westminster and Windsor, a form of liturgy that appealed to foreign dignitaries and appalled native puritans in equal measure. This became increasingly important as, under the new Scottish monarch of the joint kingdoms, the Chapel’s influence broadened beyond that of the Court, to the national church, providing a gold standard for how reformed catholic worship ought to be. Despite its huge influence, the Chapel Royal remains something of an enigmatic institution which deserves to be better understood. Canon Anthony Howe, who as one of the Chaplains is a member of the current Chapel Royal will introduce some of the paradoxes that have been part of its life since the reformation, and how it played such a huge part in what became the great religious debate that divided the nations to the point of Civil War.

The Revd Canon Anthony Howe was born in Suffolk and educated in Ipswich, at the same school as Thomas Wolsey. He graduated in Music at The Queen’s College, Oxford before being ordained. Prior to becoming Chaplain in September 2015, he served curacies in Newbury and Barnsley and was for nine years the Vicar of Staincliffe in West Yorkshire. As Chaplain of Hampton Court Palace’s Chapel Royal he is responsible for serving HM The Queen in the Chapels Royal, alongside undertaking services for residents and staff of the palace. His ministry will also extend to palace visitors and regular worshipers.

Watch the lecture here

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

Give me my scallop-shell of quiet, My staff of faith…My scrip of joy…And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.

These lines used by John Bunyan in The Pilgrim’s Progress, reveal, quite clearly, the importance of pilgrimage and journeying to visit the relics of saints throughout history. Affecting all walks of life from the lowly peasant to gregarious monarch, these were not only arduous journeys but metaphors for the progress of life from birth to death and from earth to heaven. In this talk, we will discover how the saints came to be such an important aspect of the parish church—and thus how pilgrims and their peregrinations impacted the buildings’ development and evolution over time.

Watch the lecture here

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

Martin Travers (1886-1948) was one of the leading church furnishers and stained glass artists of his generation.

His personal life was complicated but he managed to attract a primarily Anglo-Catholic clientele, particularly in the years after the First World War (when church furnishers were busy as never before or since) even though he was married to a divorcée and had lost his faith (or most of it) during the First World War. He also designed a very large number of memorials to those lost during the War when he himself had been a conscientious objector.

As time went on, his work broadened and the Back to Baroque Movement, which had begun about 1911 as an attempt to make the Church of England look less Anglican and more like the Counter-Reformation, ran its course. Perhaps because of his personal life and his association with Anglican Papalists, he did not receive the prestigious commissions which his talent merited. Then, shortly before his death he was commissioned by HM the Queen to design an altar set for Jersey to commemorate its liberation. He was also asked to prepare a scheme for the enormous east window in the lady chapel of Ely Cathedral, but his design, which would have crowned his career, was shamefully rejected.

Michael Yelton, until he retired earlier this year, was a Circuit Judge in East Anglia. Prior to taking up that appointment he was in practice at the Bar for 25 years and also taught law for some time at Corpus Christi College. He has written extensively on modern Anglo-Catholic history and architecture and on other subjects and organises the Anglo-Catholic History Society’s publication programme and its trips and walks to places of interest. He has visited virtually every piece of work by Travers in this country and some of the few abroad. He has written a comprehensive book on him, entitled Martin Travers: His Life and Work, which was published by Spire Books in 2016.

Watch the lecture here

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

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? 

Gareth Davies is a postgraduate researcher in history at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. He is currently completing a thesis on the ‘business of bellringing’ - exploring the relative importance of profit and pleasure to ringers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He has been a bellringer himself for over forty years, and his nearest church with bells is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. He currently serves as a member of the History and Archives group on the Central Council of Church Bellringers.

Watch the lecture here

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

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

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

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.  Matilda’s name is etched in history because the historic humiliation of the German King Henry IV before Pope Gregory VII occurred at her castle of Canossa.   She did more than make lunch, however.  Her building program supported the policies enunciated by her political ally, Pope Gregory VII, to renew the ancient roots of the Christian Roman Empire.   Matilda’s alliance with papal Rome broke Germany’s feudal hold over northern Italy.  At her death, the history of the free Italian communes begins. 

This lecture will offer highlights of Matilda’s life through images of buildings she built or conserved, along with suggested itineraries for travelers.  

Michèle K. Spike has written and lectured widely on the life and times of Matilda of Canossa including a biography published in English in 2004, Tuscan Countess: The Life and Extraordinary Times of Matilda of Canossa (The Vendome Press, New York, 2004), and in Italian in 2007, Matilda di Canossa: Vita di una donna che trasformò la storia (Aliberti, Reggio nell’Emilia). 

Watch the lecture here

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

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

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

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

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

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 offers a second lecture to examine the rich details of Countess Matilda’s life and times entitled, Matilda of Canossa: the life of a woman who changed the course of history.

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

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

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.

This talk is given by Dr Cindy Wood. Dr Wood is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, at The University of Winchester, teaching both subject specific and generic historical themes. These include, the Crusades; material culture; monasticism; local history; medieval death and the late medieval period in general.

Watch the lecture here

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

The Dissolution of the Monasteries is often characterised as a simple story of greed and appropriation enacted by Thomas Cromwell on behalf Henry VIII, which saw the religious evicted and all England's great abbeys and priories destroyed in less than a decade. Whilst clearly a devastating experience for the former inmates of these monastic houses and the laity who relied upon them, in this lecture Dr Willmott will explore in greater detail what actually happened to many of the monasteries after the Dissolution, suggesting that there is more to the narrative than just the theme of wanton destruction. Drawing together evidence primarily from archaeological sources and surviving remains, he will outline not only how church and cloister were systematically usually dismantled with great care, but in the majority of cases transformed and adapted to new uses over many decades after their initial closure in the 1530s.

Watch the lecture here

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

In the middle of the fourteenth century, about half the population of England was killed when a new pestilence swept across Eurasia. Historians continue to discuss - and to dispute - the effects of this extraordinary disaster on the continent's culture, economics and politics. This talk does not try to make parallels between events today and in the past but rather to suggest how we can think about major events like the arrival of Covid-19 using the ideas and approaches of historians. It asks how church builders after the Black Death - the period with the single greatest number of surviving examples before the Victorian era - responded to what happened in their buildings, using architecture to shape local society.

Watch the lecture here

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

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

The medieval concept of Purgatory as the Third Place led to a number of ways that medieval men and women attempted to mitigate its expected horrors. This lecture will consider how they were able to do this, in life and after their own deaths. Many physical remains of this belief survive, but are not often recognised as being founded for this purpose. This lecture will explore the options open to different sections of society in the later medieval period, often classified as one obsessed with the ‘Cult of the Dead’.

Watch the lecture here

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

England's churches and churchyards have long been the focus of unsettling popular beliefs, from the monstrous black dog known as the Churchyard Grim to spectral appearances and the sinister machinations of witches, while even churches themselves sometimes housed sinister objects, such as a magical sword in a Norfolk church which had the power to cause the death of any woman's unwanted husband. Churches and churchyards are full of bizarre and macabre folklore, which is explored in this talk by folklorist Francis Young.

Dr Francis Young is a historian and folklorist, the author of 14 books, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Watch the lecture here

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

Between 1742 and 1832, men of the lowest form of character targeted Britain’s churchyards for perhaps one of the most macabre practises you’ll ever come across.

Resurrection men or body snatchers, plagued our churchyards and stole our dead all in the name of science. Providing a fresh and steady supply of cadavers for the anatomy schools of London and Edinburgh and everywhere in-between. But how did we go about stopping them?

This lecture is given by Suzie Lennox. Watch the lecture here

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

For the dead who could afford a grave marker, the information chiseled or inscribed on them about the lives that lay beneath is often limited. Their name, birth, death, a short passage of poetry or a biblical except - and that's it. What about their favourite piece of music? Their favourite colour? Where did they travel to? What did they achieve? This is the real information we yearn for as we reacquaint ourselves with the dead. But where do you start to find this information out? And what if they don't have a headstone? How do we deal with the contentious histories often linked to those who've passed? 

Sheldon K. Goodman is the curator of Cemetery Club, a blog that reframes cemeteries as Museums of People. Recently Sheldon completed a masters at the University of Birkbeck in Public Histories and runs tours in a number of cemeteries, including queer history tours in Brompton & Arnos vale cemeteries. He is also a qualified City of Westminster Tour Guide and heritage professional.

Watch the lecture here

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

The First World War saw an outpouring of grief like nothing England had seen before. Most communities had lost people, and all wanted a lasting memorial to those who were gone. It brought art to the forefront of the British public’s mind, and was thus a business opportunity like no other for architects, designers, stained glass artists and monumental masons. For the designers of the Arts and Crafts Movement, it was a chance to guide and inform English artistic taste. The Cotswolds have an unusual number of Arts and Crafts memorials, due, in part, to the architects and designers who had settled in the county from the 1890s onwards. This talk will feature designers such as Ernest Gimson, Henry Payne, Edwin Lutyens and F. L. Griggs with a rich array of memorials from church and town alike, crosses to stained glass to water troughs – and all the attendant local politics in erecting them!

Watch the lecture here

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

Pipe organs have been used in English parish churches for more than a thousand years. Early organs were often small and portable. Their use changed radically at the time of the Reformation. Later organs grew in size, becoming permanent features of church buildings with architectural casework and increased numbers of keyboards and pipes. In the nineteenth century, the design and manufacture of organs was transformed by technological innovations, and the influence of changing musical taste and ecclesiology. The talk will consider particularly the evolving liturgical role of the organ in the English parish church and the architectural treatment of the organ case.

This talk is given by Nicholas Thistlethwaite who has written extensively on the history of the English organ and other aspects of church music. Watch the lecture here

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

By taking us through a normal day in the life of an average parish church, we will explore how medieval churches were used on a daily basis and why they were therefore designed and built as they were – and then why they were modified as time went on (an aspect that frequently puzzled Pevsner) because ceremonies and music became ever more elaborate.  We'll discover that we can still signs of this in our medieval churches in England for ourselves, as we are guided round a ‘composite’ church you’ll learn how you can do this for yourself with a bit of imagination and some basic knowledge. This will add hugely to your experience of a church building, bringing it back to life irrespective of its architectural style(s), setting, or comparative poverty or affluence. Even what may seem at first glance to be the smallest and most modest of churches can show us something of their previously busy sonic and sun-lit lives.  At the other end of the scale, a large and well-staffed town church in a port or market town was the arena for an unceasing round of many different activities, from dawn to dusk.

Watch the lecture here

Thursday 3rd December - Christmas Ghosts

This lecture is given by Dr Francis Young. Watch the lecture here

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

Watch the lecture here

Monday 7th December - ANGELS a history 

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.

These are not new questions. They have been asked over millennia, right up to the present day, as writer, journalist and broadcaster Peter Stanford explores in Angels, his latest investigation into the history, theology and cultural significance of religious ideas and in this free hour lecture, Peter will explore some of the themes and topics featured in his latest book which will be hot off the press.

Peter Stanford is a senior features writer at the Daily and Sunday Telegraph titles, and contributes to the Independent, the Observer, the Daily Mail and the Tablet. He has presented programmes on BBC 1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, as well as BBC Radios 2 and 4 and the BBC World Service.

Watch the lecture here

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

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

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

On 29 December 1170, four knights, believing the king wanted a turbulent Priest dealt with, confronted and murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. Becket’s murder sent shockwaves across Europe and led to the establishment of one of Europe’s most popular and miraculous Cults and to his canonisation as a Saint.

Join us as we explore Becket's miracles, and the healing powers ascribed to his Cult. We will examine church dedications to Becket made as penance by his murderers (and the lack of basis of most of them), legends and myths attached to his murderers including ghosts etc, and we will also delve into the possible origins of the story that Becket cursed a Kentish village in such a way that all newborn children would grow tales. Join us and Mark Norman as we explore all this and much more!

Mark Norman is a folklore researcher and author based in Devon. He is a council member of The Folklore Society and the creator and host of The Folklore Podcast. Starting with humble beginnings five years ago, the podcast has now been downloaded over 1.1 million times and is placed within the top 10% of shows in its genre worldwide by audience.

Links for books:

Watch the lecture here

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

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

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

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

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.  Durham, in Oswald’s native Northumbria, had the best claim to possess the authentic relic, but communities in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland also claimed the king’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

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

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

The Arts & Crafts church was an eccentric notion – new churches built around 1900, when Britain was no longer a church-going nation, and belief in God was no longer obligatory. And yet the aesthetic urge remained in architects, and spiritual searching still drove their clients. This talk sets the scene, briefly, with a few of the more famous Arts & Crafts churches; then examines churches imagined, but never built; churches that puzzle, delight and confound expectation; and, poignantly, some which no longer survive, and why.

This lecture is given by Dr Alec Hamilton. Watch the lecture here

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

The bishops of medieval England wielded great power, and their residences were often as splendid as those built for royalty. At one time, these palaces were scattered liberally throughout the country but now only a handful remain occupied by bishops, while the rest have been destroyed or taken on new uses. This talk will explore the rise and fall of the palaces, and the bishops who inhabited them and put their own mark on them. It will open the doors on some that cannot be visited by the public, as well as highlighting some which can now be freely explored in person.

This talk is given by Lisa McIntyre IHBC. Lisa studied Building Conservation at the Architectural Association and specialises in ecclesiastical architecture. She is Church Buildings Team Leader for the Anglican Diocese of Leeds and previously worked as an officer of the Church Buildings Council and as a heritage consultant in the private sector.

Watch the lecture here

Thursday 25th February - A LIFE IN RUINS

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