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.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


With the approach of the July meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have come up with proposals to amend the proposed legislation to create "women bishops" so as to perpetuate a version of the current "Flying Bishops" system. I wonder if it is not too late to do this - no, I think I'm sure that it is - and in any case I wonder if those committed to having lady bishop-persons would wear it.

The comments of the former Bishop of Richborough, Edwin Barnes, here , and the two pieces by the p-in-c of St Thomas Oxford, John Hunwicke, here and here are worth reading.

This is an issue about which we must continue to pray for, praying for unity - real unity - and fraternal charity, and for those faced with difficult practical decisions. It is also a time for courage, and holding on to the vision held out to those of Catholic mind.

Perhaps we should turn to John Henry Newman for his intercession.

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