No great thoughts today (have there been any at all so far?) – just a few pictures.
I’m trying to figure out what to do about Flickr and its upload limit. I may need to figure out how to use MobileMe and make it publicly accessible. In the meantime, some photos here…
First, from Lady Waterford Hall in the Village of Ford, Northumberland. Lady Louisa Waterford founded a school here well before elementary education was compulsory in Britain. She was an amateur painter and also a very religious woman. To make the stories of the Bible come alive for her students she decorated the inside of her classroom with murals of biblical stories for which they and their parents were the models. The project took her 21 years. This is her portrait of “The Boy Jesus” –
Next, Whitby Abbey. Whitby is a place important in Celtic Church history for it is here that a synod was held which essentially ended the influence of Celtic Christianity in Britain for several centuries. The first monastery here was founded in 657 CE by King Oswy of Northumbria. An Anglo-Saxon style “double monastery” for men and women, its first abbess was a formidable royal princess named Hilda. She hosted the Synod of Whitby in 664 at which it was decided that the English church would follow the traditions of Rome rather than the Celtic practices. Whitby is also famous as the home of the Anglo-Saxon poet Caedmon, an illiterate cowherd who was transformed into an inspired writer of Christian hymns. The Anglo-Saxon monastery has long since disappeared and is believed to have been in a location closer to the ocean than this 13th Century ruin; this monastery was begun in 1220 CE, like many of the re-established Celtic and Anglo-Saxon sites, by the Benedictines.
Third, a tomb in the Minster at York. I don’t actually know who this bishop is … but I love this non-traditional effigy. Usually these things simply look like the fully-vested stretched out corpse of whomever … but this one, with the bishop reclining, resting his head on his hand, and looking for all the world like a day-dreaming schoolboy who ought to be studying his Bible, struck me as delightfully whimsical.
My friend, the Rev. Michael Bishop, is the vicar of an eight-congregation united benefice in the Church of England. He ministers to the members of these eight congregations, offering worship in seven of the eight every Sunday! One of these is All Saints, Dalbury, Derbyshire, which houses this window – the oldest piece of stained glass in the British Isles. It depicts St. Michael the Archangel. I was particularly taken with it because Michaelmas happens to be my birthday.
Lastly – another depiction of St. Michael from a side chapel in Coventry Cathedral. My poor photographic skills and inadequate camera simply cannot convey the grandeur of the Cathedral of St. Michael, Coventry, nor the emotional impact this place has. The original Gothic cathedral was bombed during World War II. After the war, rather than restore the ruins or rebuild on the same site, it was decided that the ruins would be turned into a prayer area and the new cathedral built adjoining it. The new structure, in a style that can only be called “mid-century modern”, was started in 1956 and completed in 1962. It is magnificent! The old cathedral prayer garden is also outstanding.