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, 13 January 2014

Showing Seminarians around Newman's Oxford

This afternoon I spent an enjoyable time giving a guided tour of Newman's Oxford to 19 Seminarians ans their tutors from the St Paul Seminary School of Divinity in the United States. this was, I think, the fourth year I have given such a tour for these groups of young men, and I am always impressed by their quality as candidates for ministry. I gather that their School is the largest such foundation in the US and clearly successful. Its website can be viewed here.

I guided them from the Oratory through Trinity, and Newman's life as an undergraduate in 1817-21, then through the Bodleian to St Mary's where he was Vicar from 1828 until 1843, and where we took the now customary group photo by the pulpit, and then across the High Street to Oriel to see that hall where he took his Fellowship examinations in 1822, and the chapel and the outside of the Senior Common Rooms and Library he used whilst a Fellow until 1845.

Afterwards we returned to the Oratory and then met up at the Eagle and Child, the pub frequented by C.S.Lewis, J.R.R.Tolkien and the Inklings for supper, and an opportunity to relax and talk. 

This is always an enjoyable tour to give and I wish all the seminarians well in their studies and for their future ministry.

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