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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
37
Churches - How to Read Them [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£7.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 14 October 2015
I enjoyed this DVD and the presentation made by Richard Taylor. He starts with the beginning of church building in Britain around the year 900, and continues up to our days. The visit to St. Mary in Kilpeck with the intriguing corbels and the fascinating portal, was especially interesting. Also his enthusiastic comments on angels and saints, made it highly enjoyable. The iconoclasm was well described, really sad, but all the episodes are instructive and if I should mention anything particularly nice, it would have to be the churches which were constructed by Christopher Wren after the great fire in London, when so many churches had to be rebuilt; among them St.Paul Cathedral.
There are so many interesting details to learn from these episodes. Richard Taylor is a good storyteller, and I recommend this DVD absolutely.
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on 19 March 2017
Lovely DVD........
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on 15 November 2017
good dvd.
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on 3 December 2010
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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on 5 February 2012
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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HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERon 17 November 2010
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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on 24 August 2014
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.
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on 8 June 2017
Very informative DVD for anyone who enjoys visiting churches...I'm not a Christian, but like to 'read' the history in and around places of worship. This really helps out. Well presented too, without hammering the religious message. Excellent.
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on 21 July 2013
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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on 25 October 2010
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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