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, 4 January 2014

' At Home' with the Oxford Oratory

This afternoon I was one of the many guests invited by the Oxford Oratorians to their annual 'At Home' for friends and supporters. This is always an enjoyable occasion, a chance to meet up with other members of the congregation and to get to know some of them better. The hospitality is always generous and the welcome warm, and there is always a sense of the shared purpose of clergy and parishioners.

I think I have made theis point in previous years, but it is worth making again, that the Oratory parish has a genuine sense of community without the forced aspect of phrases like "Our Parish Community" which one comes accross in some other churches - Catholic and non-Catholic alike. We are, of course, a very diverse group with different emphases and interests, different backgrounds and formation, but we do sense a common identity that is in no way imposed upon us. We do not need to be told we are a community to know and appreciate that we are one.

Congregatio Oratorii Oxon

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