Saturday, 23 August 2014

Wales, The Golden Thread of Faith

Documentaries for EWTN on the History of the Catholic Church in Wales,
and The Crusades

A look back at a previous production for EWTN and a look forward to the next.

Michal Benko with his trusty camera on the right, we are in
a mock-Ottoman palace in Acre last summer filming the
Crusades documentary.
It is now over eighteen months since we finished work on Wales the Golden Thread of Faith – The History of the Catholic Church in Wales. But my second documentary for EWTN, The Crusades will not be broadcast until the 8th of October. I often wish that it did not take so long but we are determined to make a high quality series, and I am thankful to EWTN for saying take your time it’s important we get this right. They want this documentary to be right up there in quality and technical terms with the best of Main Stream Media (MSM). We want to try and dispel the myths of the Crusades and tell the truth, a thing that the MSM seems incapable of doing. We may not have the resources of, say, a national broadcaster but we do have the will and I am thankful that I have a very talented team with Marek Polecek as director and Michal Benko Camera/Editor. Our funds come from the generosity of EWTN’s benefactors and supporters, so we are responsible to all those who donate, we always bear this in mind when we are filming; and we use the most cost effective flights and hotels etc.

Director Marek Polacek and myself discussing the next shots
Somewhere in Wales, - Photo by cameraman Michal Benko
For example when filming in Wales we did most of it in one 10 day trip in a campervan around Wales. This meant that the itinerary for locations and interviews had to be carefully planned. Although we did pop back during the following week to interview Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff  at the reconstructed pre-Reformation Church of St Teilo’s at the National Museum of Wales. Archbishop Stack gave an excellent interview and made some very interesting points about Catholic history. Also, later that same day, we filmed at Raglan Castle, the ancient seat of the Marquess of Worcester. He was a Catholic nobleman at the time of the English civil war and like most of the Welsh Catholics declared for King Charles I. Raglan Castle was the last siege of the civil war but once it did fall it was ruined put beyond military use, and became the ruin we see today.

A century earlier the Reformation came to Wales but it was not welcome; there was a sense of let’s just wait it out, Henry VIII can’t live forever. However, after Henry came Edward VI and his protectors were intent on solidifying the Protestant Reformation and imposed the English prayer book. This caused the Cornish Catholics to revolt; they wanted the Mass in Latin and so they marched against their Protestant overlords. They were joined by English Devonshire Catholics but in battles around Exeter they were defeated and in the following months many of the survivors were massacred.

Click here to see a trailer for The Crusades series which will be broadcast on 8th October 2014

Click here to see a trailer for the series Wales, The Golden Thread of Faith

If you are interested a DVD of the series can be purchased from EWTN £12:95 from St Clare Media UK – EWTN or $25 from EWTN USA

The Wales series was a coproduction with the Latin Mass Society and St Clare Media - EWTN

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