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.
Thinking of visiting Oxford?
Allow me to be your guide... and discover the history of Oxford with an Oxford historian.
I offer a wide range of guided walks around the city and university. These can be a general introduction to the history and architecture or looking at specific themes and subjects.
I am a Catholic and a historian based in Oxford, where I am a member of Oriel College. My research, for a long delayed D.Phil., is a study of Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln in the second decade of the fifteenth century. I also work as a freelance tutor in History and as an independent tour guide.
I was received into the Church in 2005 and am a Brother of the External Oratory of St Philip Neri at the Oxford Oratory.
Yesterday evening at the Solemn Mass at the Oxford Oratory for Candlemas the Fathers re -instituted the practice of the celebrant and sacred ministers facing ad Dominum - one cannot say ad orientem as the church, due to its site, is arranged facing westwards; perhaps ad occidentum? - at such celebrations of the Novus ordo liturgy. The practice will be followed at the 11 am Solemn Mass on Sundays amd other similar celebrations in the Novus ordo, but the Sunday 9.30 and 6.30 as well as weekday Masses will continue to be ad populum.
We have had occasional celebrations beforehand in this manner - the Masses at the Forty Hours Devotion or in preparation for days of Exposition in Lent for example when the altar is arranged for the monstrance - but this is a significant move. It is one which I very much welcome, and, trite as this may appear as a statement, it looked and seemed right - indeed dignum et justus est.