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.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Heraldry for the Ordinariates

In a recent post on The Anglo Catholic Matthew Alderman explores the possibilities for heraldry within the prospective Ordinariates - I use the plural as he is based in the US - and it offers some interesting ideas and facts, as well as three systems that could be applied. You can read it here.

One might (and I do say "might") be a little amused by such a concern for attributes and paraphanalia, but, looked at another way, this does suggest that some people are very serious about the whole project.

Indeed, as Matthew Alderman suggests, one benefit that the Anglican patrimony might bring to the wider Church might well be a genuine heraldic revival on the lines of the work of the late Archbishop Bruno Heim. The living tradition of heraldry in the anglophone world could help reinvigorate it elsewhere. For example a friend has expressed concerns about unauthorised changes to the arms of the See of Westminster made by recent Archbishops. That has been allowed to happen becuase they are a Papal grant, not one from the Earl Marshal, with the consequent lack of administrative and legal discipline. A new awareness of heraldic rules should prevent such 'creativity'.

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