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.

Friday, 31 December 2010

Endings and beginnings

The end of 2010 is witnessing a number of changes in the world around me. I returned to Oxford to learn that St Bede's Hall where I was listed as tutor and lecturer in History has, sadly, had to close. St Bede's was an attempt to establish a new, conciously Catholic, educational institution in the city, and much effort was put into setting it up by the initial founders, notably Dr Penny Cookson. Unfortunately they have failed to find the support they needed and have been forced to close. I feel very sorry for those like Penny who worked so hard, and hope that the vision will not be lost.

Elsewhere I hear that the Anglican Bishops of Ebbsfleet, Richborough and Fulham, who resign today, will be received or reconciled tomorrow as Catholics, and that their ordination will take place soon. So here indeed is an ending, but also the positive beginning of the Ordinariate in England. It is topic I keep very much in my prayers and hope that 2011 will see real and positive developments there.

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