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.
I spent the Triduum and Easter, as usual these days, in Oxford.
Maundy Thursday began, as I have previously mentioned, at Blackfriars with Tenebrae. After leading agroup out to show them Blenheim Palace - a bit dispiriting in the rain, but always spectacular - it was back for Mass and the vigil until Compline and the walk back home at midnight.
On Good Friday I had arranged to have breakfast in the city with a friend at 8.20 before going to our seperate devotions. I went again to Blackfriars for Tenebrae, then spent the day quietly before going to the Solemn Liturgy at 3 - always very well attended at bthe Oxford Oratory amnd always very dignified - and then after a cup of tea, back to church for the Stations of the Cross at 7.
Holy Saturday I went again to Tenebrae, and then spent much of the day acting as the porter in the Oratory shop before going to Confession. After that there was supper and then back to the Oratory for the Easter Vigil. The rain meant we stayed in church for the lighting of the New Fire in the porch and then followed the accustomed ceremonies. The Oratory had four baptisms and two receptions into the Church. Afterards I went for a celebratory drink with one of those received at the Vigil and his sponsor.
Easter Day followed its usual pattern at the Oratory, with the Solemn Mass ending, as is out custom, with the choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus. Afterwards there was time to have adrink and talk to freinds in the Social Centre before being invited to join friends who were going off for a Lebanese lunch at arestaurant in the Cowley Road - so we made up a British, Australian, Anglo-Irish and Anglo-American, Italian and Brazilian group to witness to the joy of the Resurrection and the Catholicity of the Church. Then back in a taxi and a fine Five Cope Vespers at the Oratory.
Today I am off to Mass at 10 and then plan on having a bit of time to myself reading a book about the reign of King Richard II.