Oxford Archives ~ University Church of St. Mary…

Oxford Day 6 046St Mary’s stands in the physical centre of the old walled City, and the university grew up around it. In medieval times scholars lived in houses with their teachers and the university had no buildings of its own, so it adopted St Mary’s as its centre. The church continued as a parish church, but by the early 13th century it had become the seat of university government, academic disputation, and the awarding of degrees.

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Oxford Day 6 120The Oxford Martyrs ~Each of the three anglican bishops, Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer, who were burnt at the stake in Oxford during the reign of the Roman Catholic queen, ‘Bloody Mary’, underwent part of his trial in St Mary’s. Their principal crime was not to believe the doctrine of transsubstantiation, although Cranmer, as Henry VIII’s Archbishop, had also played a crucial role in the downfall of Queen Mary’s mother, Catherine of Aragon.

Oxford Day 6 118This bit of history at St Mary’s really was interesting to me to read…

John Wesley, founder of Methodism, often attended the University Sermon in his Oxford days, and subsequently, as a Fellow of Lincoln College, preached some of his most stirring sermons before the University here – notably the famous sermon the ‘Almost Christian’ in 1741. In 1744, again in St Mary’s, he denounced the laxity and sloth of the senior members of the University. He was never asked to preach here again. ‘I have preached, I suppose,’ I wrote, ‘the last time in St Mary’s. Be it so. I am now clear of the blood of these men. I have fully delivered my soul.’

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In 1947 a disastrous fire destroyed the original 17th-century ‘Father’ Smith organ. Its replacement, by J W Walker, had become unplayable by 1981. The present organ, the third, was built in 1987 by Metzler Orgelbau of Zurich with the intention of recapturing the spirit of the original ‘Father’ Smith. It is undoubtedly one of the finest instruments of its kind, and incorporates the few of Smith’s decorative pipeshades which survived the fire.
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Oxford Day 6 121While traveling I never have the time to thoroughly study the history of the places we visit. In preparing my posts for my blog, after the fact, I learn so much more information and history and I find out all the things I missed while visiting these amazing places. That’s why I always am ready for another trip to see the things I missed. There’s only so much my brain can absorb in a short visit.
And now in the present I’m glad to be reading this posts from 2014 and knowing what we didn’t know the last time we visited. This time around I’m taking more time to research before we go.
About Ellenhttps://happywonderer.com/I am a wife, mother, baba (grandmother) and a loyal friend. Jesus is my King and my hope is in my future with Him.

5 thoughts on “Oxford Archives ~ University Church of St. Mary…

  1. Oh my! John Wesley doesn’t sound like a particularly tactful person. Ha! I am sure that he could have thought of a better way to present his message without ticking everyone off quite so much. Maybe. At least, he wasn’t guilty of loving people to hell.

    Now this post also led me on a merry chase because of Lincoln College. You probably can figure out what my question/questions were. Didn’t get them answered either, but did have a few surprises along the way.

    Good approach to study before you travel in addition to after. Happy searching!

    Love,
    Vee

    • Vee, in researching the Oxford colleges I came up with another interesting story about Lincoln college. If I’m able to get a photo of the portrait of Rector Tatham over the High Table in the dining hall I’ll share that story come October. Thank you for visit here and comment.

  2. Beautiful building. With all these beautiful pictures from your last trip you won’t have to take any pictures on your trip coming up. 🙂

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