Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.

I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop...
It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Dialogue with Pagans

Fr Blake at St Mary Magdalen, Brighton asks his readers to pray for the pagans in his parish and city in this post.

With this in mind I commented on the point to my friend the White Witch of the Union bar here in Oxford at lunchtime. Known to some of the student members as Gandalf* from his flowing white hair and beard he is a most interesting, well-informed and civilised man, with an Oxford D.Phil in music and a past career as a church musician and academic. In recent years, and well into retirement, his "faith journey" has taken him into the world of Wicca. He once described himself to me as a "Flying bishop of Wicca".

I assured him of my prayers along with those for those in Brighton and elsewhere who have recourse to what seems to me a rather more than somewhat curious set of beliefs. I am pretty sure he thinks the same of me.
Such, it would appear, is the nature of Inter-Faith dialogue.

Well, it is Oxford...

* Which is, of course, better than being known as Gollum...


  1. Is this the same White Witch of the Oxford Union bar with whom it is said that you were dancing?

  2. Indeed it is. How many White Witches would you expect to find in the Union bar? Witches of other hues - well now...