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.
Celebrating Bl. Dominic Barberi with a French choir
Yesterday evening to augment the celebration of the feast of Bl. Dominic Barberi the Oxford Oratory welcomed the Little Singers of Saint-Charles - Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Charles - from Versailles.
This Children's choir, founded by Fr Roger Morandi in 1983 are on their first English tour and their itinerary includes the Catholic cathedrals in Portsmouth, Arundel and Southwark, St George's Chapel Windsor and in Oxford both Christ Church Cathedral and the Oratory.
In the programme notes they state that their mission "is to sing the Lord and his wonders and to radiate faith and Christian joy. Our young singers receive both a musical and a spiritual education for without a living faith, sacred music is reduced to a purely artistic gesture and loses it's meaning."
They sang both for the Mass at 6 and then gave a concert of pieces from their classical repertoire. The singing was very beautiful, in a disciplined and reverent style - their spiritual formation as outlined above being apparent. It was a delightful way both to mark the feast and to relax on a late summer evening.