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.

Friday, 27 May 2022

Marian Pilgrimage - Our Lady of Caversham

Further west along the Thames is the Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham. In the later middle ages this small chapel outside the village was one of the most famous and popular Marian shrines in England.

In the mid-twentieth century a very elegant small chapel in the style of the twelfth century was added to the present Catholic church in Caversham and a fine, and historic, statue enthroned therein. This now has a crown blessed by Pope St John Paul II, and recently a wall painting was added to the apse behind it. A delightful recreation of this venerable place of prayer.

My account of the history of the shrine can be read at Our Lady of Caversham

Our Lady of Caversham Pray for us

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Marian Pilgrimage - Our Lady of Windsor

The votive image of Our Lady in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle is the next stop on the Pilgrimage. I wrote about this shrine in Our Lady of Windsor

It occurs to me that maybe one could, or should, also include Our Lady of Eton at this point as prayer and petition to Our Lady was central to King Henry VI’s intention in founding Eton College as a focus for national intercession.

Our Lady of Windsor Pray for us
Our Lady of Eton Pray for us

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Rogationtide with Fr Hunwicke

Fr Hunwicke has been marking Rogationtide this week with a series of typically well researched and informed posts about the origins and practical observance of the Rogation Days and all charged with his own distinctive and incisive observations.

I recommend reading and appreciating his articles, which can be seen at:


My 'Rogations' problem

Drinking the Evil Spirits away

Marx and Sparx

In addition Gregory DiPippo on the New Liturgical Movement has an article made up of quotations from William Durandus Bishop of Mende (c.1230-1296) Rationale Divinorum Officium, written in Italy before 1286, about the Rogationtide processions. It can be read at Durandus on the Minor Litanies

The rich mixture of Catholic piety, antique precedents and pagan origins, folk religion, communal celebration, the understanding of the natural order and rhythms of the agricultural year and all that bound these elements together and which characterised Rogationtide is wonderfully evocative of, to borrow a phrase, the world we have lost.

Marian Pilgrimage - Our Lady of Winchester

The next stop on the Pilgrimage is the ancient royal and episcopal city of Winchester. My account of this devotion in the cathedral can be seen at Our Lady of Winchester

Our Lady of Winchester Pray for us

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Marian Pilgrimage - Three Medieval Statues of Our Lady

Last year I added to the Pilgrimage itinerary notes about three surving medieval statues of Our Lady in what might be termed the East Midlands. These are at Howden Minster, St Mary’s Church in Stamford and in the Castle Museum in Nottingham, but originally at the now long-demolished church at Flawford, to the south of the city.

My article about these wonderful survivors can be read at Three Medieval Statues of Our Lady

Our Lady of Howden, of Stamford and of Flawford Pray for us

Marian Pilgrimage - Our Lady in the Wall at Boston

The Lincolnshire stage of the Pilgrimage concludes in terms of actual places of medieval devotion with this one at Boston. I wrote about it in Our Lady in the Wall at Boston

Our Lady in the Wall at Boston Pray for us

Marian Pilgrimage - Our Lady of Lincoln

This is another halt on the Pilgrimage which I added to Canon Stephenon’s original list and commemorates the patronal and votive statue of Our Lady that was in Lincoln Cathedral until the despoilers removed it, and also draws attention to its very recent, and striking, replacement.

My article about this focus of devotion can be seen at Our Lady of Lincoln

Our Lady of Lincoln Pray for us

Marian Pilgrimage - Our Lady in the Wood near Epworth

The Pilgrimage now moves to Lincolnshire and to the shrine of Our Lady in the Wood near Epworth around which was founded the Axholme Charterhouse.

Our Lady in the Wood at Epworth Pray for us