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.
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.
Last Saturday I again attended as a supporter the catechumenate meeting for the Oxford group entering the Ordinariate this Easter. The speaker was Fr Jerome Bertram of the Oxford Oratory, who prepared me for reception in 2005, and who delivered a really excellent talk on the practise and practicalities of prayer as well as giving good practical advice about confession.
It seemed to me that the group of candidates attending had moved on a significant stage, going from people who wanted to enter the new structure of the Ordinariate but were still a little unsure as to what it involved, to being committed and confident in what they are about to do.
As if to underline this we assembled at the end for a group photograph which included those of us who are going along as supporters.
Please keep those being received into the Church in your prayers, and especially the Oxford candidates who are being received on Spy Wednesday at the 6 pm Mass at the Oratory.
Mgr Burnham has forwarded the news that the Fathers of the Oxford Oratory have readily agreed to designate the weekly Wednesday 10am Mass at the Oratory as an Ordinariate Mass.
This means that Ordinariate Priests would also be on the roster of those who celebrate that Mass and, should there be sufficient interest, lay members of the Ordinariate might read the first reading and psalm. He says that he hopes that this both responds imaginatively to the suggestion of the Archbishop of Birmingham that there be an abiding link between the Oratory and the Oxford Ordinariate Group and gives a regular midweek place where members can meet and support one another.