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.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Back to England


Chamery - the village, surrounded by vineyards, clusters round the medieval church

Image: hijack75 on Panoramio

We left Chamery at 8 this morning - another bright and sunny one - and drove past Rheims and Laon towards Calais and the ferry back to England. Seeking to avoid the delay caused by late boarding on the way out we had a fairly long wait on the quayside before embarking. 

As we arrived in Dover, it now being after midday, Fr Jerome was able to tell us the hitherto embargoed news of the project to establish a York Oratory at the church of St Wilfrid and to send Oratorians from Oxford there. This has, I know, been rumoured for a long while,and seems a very positive development. 

Once in Dover we said farewell to John, but before we left we hurried over to inspect the ruins of Old St James church, which was reduced to its present state by bombardment during the Second World War. The remains are of some quite impressive Norman work, and it is, of course, a great pity that the church was wrecked. 

Fr Jerome drove the last leg of the journey via Caterham where we dropped off Daniel, and so back to Oxford. For Fr Jerome this had been quite a haul having had to do all the driving, which amounted to over 1600 miles, with only one rest day. I am sure we are are all very grateful to him for that, and for such smooth travelling

The whole week was splendid, allowing us time to pray and worship, but also to feed our thoughts with great buildings and to spend time together as a group of Oratorians.

May St John Vianney continue to pray for us.

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