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 3 May 2020

A Marian virtual pilgrimage with Fr Hunwicke

My ever resourceful friend Fr Hunwicke has proposed an his blog a virtual pilgrimage this month to the medieval English shrines of Our Lady. This would both mark the rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary and also provide a means of expressing devotion in Mary’s month of May. His updated post about this idea of a day by day visit to a different shrine can be seen at

Pilgrimaging during Lock-down UPDATE

His first spiritual ports of call were Glastonbury, Canterbury - Our Lady of the Undercroft - and York. Tomorrow he promises a full list commencing with Our Lady of Westminster to take us through May. This list is drawn from the work of Edmund Waterton*, to which there is a link in the comments section.

Not long before the current ‘lockdown’ started I finished the draft of an article about the revival and restoration of various medieval English shrines of Our Lady since the end of the nineteenth century. Fr Hunwicke’s idea fits very well with that and I hope to ‘virtually’ accompany him ond other pilgrims on this journey. I may be a couple of days late starting but I have visited the first three in actual reality in the past.

* Waterton was, incidentally, a collateral relative of Bishop Fleming, and his father was the pioneering naturalist and conservationist Charles Waterton of Walton Hall near Wakefield in my home area.

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