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.
The last two evenings the Oxford Oratory has provided a feast of seasonal and reflective music.
On Wednesday there was the Oratory's own Advent Carol Service, entitled The Advent of Our King, a Musical Oratory in the best Philippine tradition with readings, choir pieces and congregational hymns. This was on a slightly rearranged format to past occasions and drew a very good attendance from the parishioners and further afield. The whole service, which concluded with Benediction, was extremely well thought out and presented by the musicians as well as the Sanctuary party
On Thursday evening we had Christmas in the City presented by Artes Christi, an Australian organisation, who are performing a series of such concerts and carol services in Sydney, Rome ( the Australiian Domus ), Oxford, London ( St Patrick's Soho Square ) and Paris ( Notre Dame and the Madeleine ) as well as having a pilgrimage to Assisi.
Artes Christi was established in 2001 and seeks to evangelise through culture. Their website can be viewed at arteschristi.org.au Their motivation and methods are clearly similar to those of the Oratorians, and they look to be a group well worth supporting.
With them was their Chaplain, Fr Bill Milsted, parish priest of St Peter Surry Hills NSW. This was the parish which hosted the group of fifty from the Oxford Oratory who were led by Fr Daniel to World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008.
This was an excellent concert, including compositions by members of the group as well as music by, amongst others Bach, Handel and Stainer, as well as congregational pieces.