• RRP: £12.50
  • You Save: £0.76 (6%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
How To Read A Church: A G... has been added to your Basket
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book is in good condition and fulfilled by Amazon which means it is eligible for Amazon Prime. The book itself may have been used before but will be largely free of stains and markings. Textbooks may have slight highlighting. Corners may be slightly bent and spine may be creased but overall in solid condition with money back guarantee.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

How To Read A Church: A Guide to Images, Symbols and Meanings in Churches and Cathedrals Hardcover – 3 Jul 2003

42 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£11.74
£5.09 £0.01
£11.74 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

How To Read A Church: A Guide to Images, Symbols and Meanings in Churches and Cathedrals + Churches - How to Read Them [DVD]
Price For Both: £19.87

Buy the selected items together



Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rider; First Edition edition (3 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844130533
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844130535
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.4 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

"For church crawlers or occasional visitors who want to know how to read a church properly, Richard Taylor's gem of a book is the answer" (The Spectator)

"This intriguing guide will make any church visit a more enriching trip" (Good Book Guide)

"fascinating and highly informative reading" (Heritage Today)

"a truly fascinating guide" (Good Times)

Book Description

A unique, accessible guide to the common symbols and meanings in church art and architecture

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 84 people found the following review helpful By mary on 7 Oct. 2004
Format: Hardcover
I had a copy of the original version of this book - its really interesting and describes the main images and symbols seen in Western Churches and makes a visit to these buildings so much more enjoyable and rewarding. Its also a good read in its own right. Many of the main biblical stories are retold (and the images associated with them explained) and the author also sets out some of the other stories about biblical characters that are more myth (that is they are not in the bible) which can be depicted in churches. This new edition seems to be more or less the same text but looks and feels completely different. It is larger (more a book to leave at home than one to take with you on a tourist trip), well designed with lots of colour photographs of the images exlained in the text. It is a real feast for the eye and would make a good present for anyone who likes making visits to churches and cathedrals.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By IzB on 19 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
There are three different versions of this book: the original small red version which has the full text but very few pictures How to Read a Church: A Guide to Images, Symbols and Meanings in Churches and Cathedrals; the large white version which is a coffee table book and has lovely pictures How to Read a Church; and the 'pocket' version which appears on a different page Pocket Guide to How to Read a Church. The latter has an edited version of the text but most of the same pictures that come in the largest version. There are more details in my review on that page. Now that there is a TV series by the author its worth pointing out that the books pre-date the programmes and are not 'the book of the series' although I think if you like the programmes you will also enjoy the book.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
73 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Wessex Man on 21 Feb. 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book and will refer to it often in the future. One of my pleasures is to visit cathederals and churches to appreciate the architecture, the history and place in communiy - but I had little detailed knowledge.
This book covers a wide variety of topics, some of which are: the orientation of the church; types of halos (5 are well illustrated using clear line drawings); the masons designs of gargoyles; the roles of Jesus, Mary and the Saints (as a non practicing Christian this was very useful); it even has a descriptive drawings of the vestments of bishops and priests (and how many of you know what a Rochet or an Alb is, and who wears it).
The writing style is informative and economical - no wasted words, but the ideas and knowledge are conveyed well
The copy I got from Amazon is hard cover, but is easy to carry as it is only approx 135 mm by 210 mm with 246 pages. The photos are in black and white.
This book is a bargain - buy it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on 4 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm no church historian and not religious in any way, but I found this book totally absorbing and fascinating as an explanation of the imagery and decoration found in churches. I found the book by accident, borrowed an old paperback copy to read and then decided to treat myself to this beautiful version which has many more photos and illustrations to help you see what Dr Taylor is describing.

The book covers all sorts of information about the saints, carvings, pictures and symbols you might see in a church, their stories and what the images may have meant to the people making them or looking at them in a time when most people couldn't read. The book is very easy to read and quite fascinating. There is also a list of saints, their stories and the ways they can be recognised in pictures/carvings and there is a useful glossary of terms. These make the book perfect as a reference as well as great to read as a whole.

I've rarely been tempted to write to an author in praise of a book (and I've read a lot!), but this was an exception.

My only small gripe is the lack of explanation of non-Christian symbols and carvings in churches (green men, woodwoses, little pagan figures etc) that often crop up in early church designs before we were 'fully integrated' :-)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Austen on 3 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Superb book but note there are 3 versions/editions of this book and Amazon have got them confused. The AMAZON price of 5.50 is for the smaller earlier version, not for this book which is the later illustrated 2004 edition. Hover your cursor over the prices box and you will see different cover pictures. Be carefull when purchasing. No-where can I find Amazon actually selling THIS 2004 book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Thomas on 4 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very poorly illustrated and disappointingly shallow volume. Fascinating subject very poorly delivered. Half of the text seems to have been included as a filler.

I very rarely buy a book I don't enjoy. This certainly qualifies as a disppontment
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By maureen n on 19 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
the author goes into detail about details of churches, but doesn't mention the obvious. That is: the characteristic Christian symbols incorporated in the architecture itself.

Thus: cathedrals were built in the shape of a cross, representing Christ's cross on Calvary, which is why the crossing of the two axes, though perpendicular to each other, is not at the centre of the main east-west axis. The main longtitudional axis of cathedrals and churches was always east-west, to that both the building and the congregation face east, to Jerusalem. The altar is placed at the east end, not quite at the very end, but where Jesus' head would lie on the cross. The spires point towards heaven.

These are details contained in oral tradition - I learnt these from my teachers at school in the 1950's and 1960's.
It may be that it is because these points are so obvious that they have been omitted from most written works, including a lot of guides produced by individual churches and cathedrals.
Otherwise, a very good book
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback