CARAVAGGIO:  Rogue and Genius

Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, better known as Caravaggio, was born in Northern Italy in 1571.  After studying art in Milan he travelled to Rome where he became a renowned Baroque painter receiving commissions from the Papal court and Roman aristocracy.

There was, however, a darker side to his life that resulted in him becoming a fugitive. While still on the run from the police and Papal authorities, he died mysteriously on a deserted beach at the age of 39. This talk tells his story.


THE CRUSADES:  A Holy War for a Holy Land

In 1095 the Pope called on the Kings and people of Western Europe to join a Crusade aimed at liberating the city of Jerusalem from the ‘barbaric Turks’. Between 1096 and 1204 four crusading armies travelled across Europe, through Anatolia, towards the Holy Land.

This talk begins by looking at the context of the Middle East at the time. It then goes on to tell of the people who joined the Crusades and why they went. The final part looks at the repercussions of the Crusades for Christian/Muslim relations today


THE MILITARY KNIGHTS: The Military Order of St John and the Knights Templar

At the time of the First Crusade in 1099, two powerful military orders were founded in Jerusalem. The Knights of St John, originally known as the Knights Hospitaller, were established in order to care for the sick and injured. The Knights Templar were given the role of protecting Christian pilgrims and the people of the Crusader States from the Muslims.

The Knights Templar were disbanded in the early 14th Century while the Knights of St John are still a world-wide organisation. This talk traces the history of the two Orders.



We look at the story of Abraham, who is said to have lived around 1800 BCE. He is considered by Jews, Christians and Muslims to be the first Patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; hence these Faiths are often referred to as the ‘Abrahamic Faiths’.

Whether or not Abraham really did exist, his legacy through literature and painting has survived down the centuries. This talk illustrates some of the greatest works of art depicting the life of Abraham.