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.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The patronage of St Mary Magdalen

Were today not a Sunday it would be the feast of St Mary Magdalen. For churches dedicated to her it is, of course, still their patronal feast, and gives me an opportunity to say my prayers for as well as sending my greetings to the splendid Fr Ray Blake and his people at St Mary Magdalen's in Brighton, a church which this year is celebrating its 150th anniversary, and about which I have posted beforehand.
St Mary Magdalen Brighton.
The phortograph was taken befiore the present restoration programme started
Image: Flickr.com
If St Mary Magdalen Brighton is one of my favourite Catholic churches of today then there are others from the middle ages of which I am also very fond. St Mary Magdalen was a popular medieval patron saint in England, particularly after the development of her great shrine at Vezeley in France during the twelfth century. Here are three of my favourite medieval churches dedicated to her:
Campsall church is a few miles from my home town and has some fine Norman work as well as later alterations, and a fine rood screen:
Campsall church
The parish church at Newark is justly famous, not only for its architecture - notably the tower and spire, which was copied for Salford cathedral in the nineteenth century - but also for its medieval glass, woodwork and brasses:
Newark parish church
Image: Flickr.com
Gedney church in south Lincolnshire stands out as exceptional even in an area rich in medieval churches as a result of the wealth of the area in the later middle ages. it sails like a great ship across the Fenland landscape:
Gedney church

All four churches are very well worth visiting if you are in the area - if you have not already done so, discover the joys of church crawling!

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