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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating overview of Britain's religious buildings
This is a fascinating series of six, half-hour BBC programmes which examine the imagery, symbols and architecture of English parish churches. The presenter, Richard Taylor, talks with genuine enthusiasm in a chatty way, as he visits dozens of beautiful, ancient and interesting religious buildings from across the UK. Each episode uncovers dozens of little gems, as well as...
Published on 17 Nov. 2010 by Rowena Hoseason

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good start, but slightly disappointing towards the end
A good start, but slightly disappointing towards the end, a tiny bit biased concerning some instances, but good overall. Do not forget to read the matching book which is very well documented.
Published 9 months ago by Mr. Jean-francois Moore


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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating overview of Britain's religious buildings, 17 Nov. 2010
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Churches - How to Read Them [DVD] (DVD)
This is a fascinating series of six, half-hour BBC programmes which examine the imagery, symbols and architecture of English parish churches. The presenter, Richard Taylor, talks with genuine enthusiasm in a chatty way, as he visits dozens of beautiful, ancient and interesting religious buildings from across the UK. Each episode uncovers dozens of little gems, as well as explaining an awful lot about how Christianity is intertwined with traditional British culture.
At first, churches were originally simple buildings of mediaeval times, intended to protect the altar and carried over many symbols and carvings from the pagan era. Then humorous wall paintings and intricate carvings were used to teach moral lessons, while stunning architectural angels and similar devices gave the impression of what we might find in heaven. The series reveals why fonts have such elaborate covers, rediscovers the ritual of `churching' women, and explains why so many village pubs have very close links to their local church. It also investigates the obsession with death and suffering which some churches went through; looks at why crucifixes became popular, and uncovers the truth behind the cult of the Virgin Mary and the Reformation, and all the turbulent times that went with that upheaval.
It was also very interesting to learn of the different opinions when it comes to restoring old churches (repair? rebuild? replace?), and to see how different beliefs have shaped the buildings where people gather to worship. Some of the churches of the 20th century are, however, just unspeakably ugly...

Far more than just a history or appreciation of architecture, this series contains some gorgeous footage of beautiful buildings. It's an inspiration to get off the sofa and go and see some of them. You definitely don't need to be a Christian to appreciate their importance in the British landscape.

A thoroughly enjoyable and informative series.
8/10
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Churches - How to Read Them, 25 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Churches - How to Read Them [DVD] (DVD)
This is an expert guide to English Church architecture. He manages to communicate his obviously deep knowledge in an informative and entertaining manner. It is also a very well made programme; it is deceptively simple, well edited and beautifully shot. This is one of the best popular history series that I have watched in many years and I strongly recommend it.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars edwardoctober, 3 Dec. 2010
By 
E. Keen - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Churches - How to Read Them [DVD] (DVD)
Richard Taylor has an enthusiastic and encouraging approach to his subject. By avoiding any semblance of a didactic approach, one is pleasantly carried along and made appreciative of the many nuances and interesting implications behind many of the features that otherwise may lay hidden to our appreciation. A very fine series.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting history series, 1 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: Churches - How to Read Them [DVD] (DVD)
A very well made series, which as well as being an expert guide to the architecture and art of British churches, is a potted history of Britain. I found the author/presenter very watchable and his enthusiasm for the subject really came across. Because it was so interesting, I would heartily recommend this to anyone with an interest in religeon, history, art or architecture. I shall definitely watch this again when it is repeated.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant series, 5 Feb. 2012
By 
M. A. Richardson "mags book worm" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Churches - How to Read Them [DVD] (DVD)
Having watched some of the programs on TV each time the BBC screed it - my husband and I still managed to miss some of the programs - I bought this for him as a Christmas present and we have just watched the complete DVD this week end (4 / 5 Feb 2012) due to the weather. I would recommend this to anyone who loves looking round churches. Richard is very enthusiastic about the subject and he talks 'to you' and now down as some do.

Just a little update - the cover is now signed by Richard, he is just as nice to meet as he comes over on TV
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, fascinating and informative, 27 Jan. 2014
By 
Rose (South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Churches - How to Read Them [DVD] (DVD)
This is a very interesting and fascinating DVD. The presentation and quality of its contents is professional and well researched. It was great to see the sheer magnificence of some of those beautiful buildings. The architecture is awe-inspiring. There is a deeper story though - the turbulence in church history as well as the people of Britain who experienced these troubling times. We also learn of the history of the belief systems through the ages. Very informative.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reading the visual, 3 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Churches - How to Read Them [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD provided to be the foundation of a great hobby. Since watching the series I have been to many churches and am able to better understand what I see. You open the door of the church like you open a present, wondering whats inside. The series helps me appreciate what I am looking at and encouraged deeper study. Thank you Dr Taylor. Slide the book of the series in your pocket and go visiting.

Churches - How to Read Them [DVD]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to church crawling, 19 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Churches - How to Read Them [DVD] (DVD)
Richard Taylor's series on churches started me on church crawling ( visiting and looiking at church designs). He has a knowledge and passion for the subject that comes across and holds you to the subject. His respect and love for churches makes this a worthwhile addition to any DVD library. Watch it even if you are not interested in churches. After watching it you could well be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magisterial, 15 Sept. 2012
By 
Booth H in Texas (Wichita Falls, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Churches - How to Read Them [DVD] (DVD)
Splendid and essential. I encountered this series when I was studying at Oxford and am now sharing it with a study group in Texas. The only lament--a small one--is that the DVD is not in Region One Format, and thus not available at Amazon in the States or playable on most DVDs here. Nonetheless, through Amazon UK (BBC would not ship it overseas) and an all-region DVD player, it is now showing in at least one small venue. If the BBC expanded the format for this DVD into Region One as well, I'm confident this excellent series would a find a much larger audience, which it well deserves. Kudos, Amazon UK, for making it available to some grateful folks across the waves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MESMERIZING, 21 July 2013
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This review is from: Churches - How to Read Them [DVD] (DVD)
I was quite thrilled with this series. I was absolutely mesmerized by the views of all the old churches - just beautiful and the history most fascinating. The meanings behind carvings, etc. I would love to learn even more history of each church from beginning to where it stands today (or remnants). Learn even more about the people that built them, attended them, how they lived, what they ate, good and bad times. What a wonder to take each church and understand that everything within and out, had meaning not just for appearance .... quite fascinating really.
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Churches - How to Read Them [DVD]
Churches - How to Read Them [DVD] by Richard Taylor (DVD - 2010)
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