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.

Thursday, 19 January 2023


I suspect that to most people Laodicea is just a name, a city that was home to one of the seven churches addressed by St John in the Apocalypse/Book of Revelation, although the Laodicean Christians may be the most memorable for all the wrong reasons, being typified for being neither hot nor cold in Revelation 3 14-22. How many sermons has that text elicited over the centuries from exasperated clergy one might well wonder.

The sizeable and wealthy trading city known by St John, St Paul, and other early Christians was eventually abandoned in the time of the Mongol invasions but has left extensive remains of its former splendour in a wealthy part of western Anatolia. Its neighbours included the cities of Colossae and Hierapolis. Recent work to restore the amphitheatre at Laodicea is featured in an online article from Greek Reporter which can be seen at Ancient Greek Amphitheater at Laodicea Restored to Former Glory

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