All Souls College

During our last few visits to Oxford this has been a college that we were only able to view through these beautiful iron gates. On Tuesday September 20th, 2022, the day after the Queen’s funeral, we were fortunate to get to High street at the right time to see the doors to this college open.

I will copy and paste some of the history of this college and if it further interests you, you can click here to read more.

The ‘College of the souls of all the faithful departed’, commonly called All Souls College, was planned, built, and endowed in the 1430s by Henry Chichele, long-serving Archbishop of Canterbury. It received its foundation charter in 1438 from King Henry VI, co-opted by the Archbishop as the College’s co-founder. Chichele was in his seventies at the time, and this, his third Oxford benefaction, situated right at the University’s heart, was the fruit of careful reflection about what was needed in a new college.

Pass through the gate house and you again see an essentially medieval building. Here lived the Warden (in rooms beside the gatehouse); the forty Fellows, who until the eighteenth century shared sleeping quarters (still indicated by the wider ‘two-lighted’ windows), but had individual studies (the narrower, ‘single-light’ windows); and a number of chaplains, choristers, clerks, and servants. Today the quadrangle still houses Fellows’ bedrooms (now individual) and studies, as well as administrative offices. The Chapel takes up the whole north side of the quadrangle.

All Souls had two functions. The first, common to all colleges, was religious. The Warden and, originally, forty Fellows were to pray in chapel for the souls of the founders, of those who had fallen in the long wars with France (at the time not being prosecuted with much vigour), and of ‘all the faithful departed’. The second function was academic, and in this, then as now, the College was distinctive. Chichele envisaged the medieval equivalent of a graduate college, an institute of advanced study of a very practical kind. With minor exceptions, the College never took in undergraduates. Its Fellows were previously to have studied somewhere else for at least three years and most would already have a BA. Once admitted they were to study or teach for the higher degrees of theology, law (civil and ‘canon’, or Church, law), and medicine – especially theology and law. The Fellows, all in Holy Orders, had to prepare themselves, not for life in the ivory tower, but for service to Church and government. They were, as Chichele himself put it, an ‘unarmed militia’, trained for the unashamedly patriotic task of restoring national prestige and good order in the face of heresy at home and stalemate abroad.

In this view you can see Radcliffe Camera outside the iron gates we first peeked through.

The central accent of the sundial, the design of which is attributed to Christopher Wren, was absent in the eighteenth century. Moved to its present position only in Victorian times, it was placed initially between the south-facing pinnacles of the chapel.

Heading into the chapel.

15th century Fan Vaulting in the vestibule of the chapel.

The baroque Chapel screen, designed by Sir James Thornhill in 1716, and restored and gilded in the late twentieth century. It replaced a screen which was attributed to Christopher Wren.

Most of the antechapel windows contain some fifteenth-century stained glass.

The Chapel still retains its original medieval hammer-beam roof, which together with the gilded wooden angels that adorn the ends of the beams dates from the fifteenth century. The angels owe their current brilliance to a late twentieth century regilding.

The reredos of the Chapel dates from c. 1447. Its niches contain statues of saints, bishops, and monarchs, arranged in rows on either side of a Crucifixion scene, just above the altar, and a Last Judgement, high up under the roof. The original statues, destroyed in the sixteenth century Reformation, were not replaced with the present Gothic imitations until the nineteenth century. 

reredos: A screen or a decorated part of the wall behind an altar in a church, especially when the altar does not stand free, but against the wall; an altarpiece.

Each school and chapel we were able to visit was unique and we enjoyed seeing the differences. We were not able to view the dining hall at All Souls because it was closed to the public during our visit.

Forward to January 2023. I’m finishing this post on Saturday morning in Orange, California. We are safely tucked into our home away from home for the next several days. Our travel by car on Thursday went well after Dear’s follow-up appointment. His follow-up was good for those of you who were wondering. Our flight on Friday evening, after a delay, was non-eventful and enjoyable with a serendipitous seating next to a couple who has the same doctor we had when we lived on the west side of the Cascades. We had a lively and long conversation connecting the dots. Later today we are having a small family reunion with three or four of my siblings and several nieces and nephews.

Auntie Lolo got this selfie of us at the airport before checking in. Our sons are missing from the photo since they were parking the vehicles after we unloaded ALL our luggage, etc.

Sorry, We’re Closed…

Earlier on Tuesday the 20th of September we tried to visit Brasenose College but it was closed. We journeyed along Brasenose Lane (below) to see if we could visit Jesus College or Exeter College on Turl street.

Jesus College was only open to tour groups who had made appointments in advance. So to us this college was also closed. It was fun to put my foot on this sign above. 1974 is a special year for us. The year we were married.

Exeter college was also closed to us so we ventured on Broad Street to Holywell St. and took photos of this interesting building.

We kept going along Holywell to St. Cross Rd. and spent some time at the Holywell Cemetery. (that post will come later) After the cemetery we visited Magdalen College and that post is complete.

We left Magdalen college the way we came in and walked along Merton street past Logic Lane stopping to add to our history on this lane.

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Onward on Merton, disappointed that Merton College was closed to visitors.

It looked so inviting.

This relief, made in 1465, showing St. John the Baptist in the wilderness with the college founder Walter de Merton, with assorted plants and animals, including unicorn, sheep and rabbits in burrows below.

On to Magpie passing the Chapel of Merton, turning right to the High.

When we reached High Street we had another view of University Church of St. Mary the Virgin ahead of us and looking to the right we were happy to see that All Souls College was open and receiving visitors!

All Souls would be a sweet finale to a long day of walking and being denied access to several beautiful colleges, sigh. All Souls deserves a post of it’s own, coming soon. We had lots to take in even though we only had access to two of the five colleges we tried to visit. Throw in a cemetery with some famous folk and it was a good full day.

Back to the present: 

We had a safe trip, although harrowing, from home to Sacred Heart in Spokane for Greg’s follow-up at the Stroke Center. We had to travel in the dark, with fog and rain and it was hard to see the lines in the road. When you are traveling a 2 lane highway this becomes even harder. We were so happy when dawn came. After the appointment, the rest of our trip went well. We are safe and sound at our destination.

Magdalen College and C.S. Lewis

On Tuesday September 20th we had plans to try to visit several colleges but at the end of the day we were only able to get into two of the colleges, Magdalen and All Souls College. This post will cover some of Magdalen College and C.S. Lewis’s history there.

We were at the Holywell Cemetery before we made our way to Magdalen along Longwall St. and we noticed this sundial. The dial is formed from metal lines and characters attached to the south facing stone wall of the Grove Auditorium. Upright hour numerals are VII – XII – VI, and hour and half-hour lines run each to their own unmarked circular arc around the gnomon root. The gnomon is a thin un-supported rod springing from a small disc on the wall. Above the dial is ‘M M’ for both Mary Magdalen and the year 2000. On with our journey to the entrance to Magdalen college on High St.

We entered to St. John’s Court through the Porter’s Lodge. This beautiful gate is beside Porter’s Lodge. We are now in St. John’s Court.

We picked up a brochure called C.S. Lewis At Magdalen from the Porter’s desk. I will be quoting from the brochure in this post. Thank you to Magdalen College.

We were sad to hear the chapel was closed to visitors because of the restoration of the organ.

In 2014 Dear and I ware able to view the chapel and that post is here.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) as a student at University College down the road from Magdalen College. In 1925 he was called to Magdalen to be considered for a teaching post of English Language and Literature. He was chosen and elected a Fellow at 500 pounds a year, plus accommodation, meals, and pension.

The traditional ceremony for the induction of Fellows at Magdalen is unchanged from Lewis’s time. Kneeling on a red cushion before the President in the presence of other Fellows and asked, in Latin, will you uphold the statutes of the College? They reply, Do fidem (I give my faith or I so promise) The President pronounces them admitted to the Fellowship, shakes their hand and wishes them joy. The new Fellow is then greeted by the other Fellows, one by one, who also wish him joy.

Lewis’s relationship with Magdalen would last a lifetime.

In this photo you can see the Great Bell Tower at Magdalen. Every May 1st at dawn the choir welcomes the morning in song up in the tower to crowds on the streets below. Click here to read and see more.

The 15th Century Cloisters construction commenced in 1474 which makes this medieval square of stone among the oldest parts of Magdalen.

We left the main grounds to get to Addison’s Walk along the Holywell Mill Stream.

Addison’s Walk in April of 2004 ~ Our daughter and her dad

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We were sad to find out on our 2022 Addison’s walk that this tree met it’s demise and is no longer on the path.

On this visit we walked further along to this second stone bridge to see this memorial tablet presented to the College by the Oxford University C.S. Lewis Society, to mark the centenary of Lewis’s birth, November 29, 1898. So this tablet has been here since 1998. I copied the poem below so you would be able to read it since the tablet has weathered over the last 25 years.

What the Bird Said Early in the Year

I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.

Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year nor want of rain destroy the peas

This year time’s nature will no more defeat you
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.

This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn one year older by the well worn track.

This year, this year, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.

Often deceived, yet open once again your heart.
Quick quick, quick, quick – the gates are drawn apart.

C.S. Lewis

We walked back following the stream to where it meets up with the The River Cherwell at Magdalen Bridge. This is where you can rent a punt.

On our way back to the New Building Lawns we spotted the herd of fallow deer.

Lewis’s college rooms were in New Buildings. The buildings you see below. He enjoyed the views from his windows where he could see the College’s herd of fallow deer.

“It was in these rooms in New Buildings, several years after he became a Fellow, that Lewis moved steadily, through a long personal and philosophical struggle, towards belief in God. He had been an Atheist for the better part of twenty years. But he became convinced that reasonable argument itself is dependent on a God, whose existence he felt driven, reluctantly, to concede.”

“An important turning point was a late-night conversation at Magdalen with his friends Hugo Dyson and J.R.R. Tolkien. After dinner, the three men withdrew to Addison’s Walk, (see photos of Addison’s walk above) continuing in conversation and further in the night in Lewis’s rooms in New Buildings until three in the morning. They talked about myth and reality and the idea that Christianity, while similar to great pagan myths that Lewis found powerful and attractive, was a myth with a unique difference, because of it’s claim to be historically authentic–a claim Lewis was soon to accept.”

“The close friendship between Lewis and Tolkien was partly based on sharing and discussing the books they were writing, and these exchanges came to include other Christian friends and writers, a literary circle to be known as the Inklings. Typically meeting in Lewis’s rooms in New Buildings on Thursday nights and in the ‘Eagle and Child’ pub on Tuesday mornings, the group flourished in the 1930’s and 40’s. The Inklings read, discussed, and criticized passages from many books still in the making, among them Tolkien’s, The Lord of the Rings. Lewis so admired this book that many years later, he would nominate Tolkien for the Nobel Prize for Literature.”

As we waited for the Dining Hall to be open to viewing, we stepped into the Old Kitchen Bar to find a refreshment but no one was around. We did spot the framed photos above of the filming of Shadowlands at Magdalen college. Shadowlands is a story based on the real life story of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. Anyone have a copy of the DVD we could borrow?

We couldn’t walk into the dining room but we had a small cordoned off section to stand in and look and take photographs.

Edward Butler, (1686-1745) President Magdalen College University of Oxford (1722-1745)

We exited the college and made our way to Merton Street where more adventures would follow.

Back to the present on this Wednesday January 11th of 2023, we’ve had some snow melting slowly here and more bare ground showing. Some very thick fog the last few days that makes driving a challenge. Today I’ll be joining some other gals at church for our weekly prayer meeting. How can I pray for you? There’s a link at the top of my blog where you can find my email address. We are getting ready for another adventure with our whole family. Our January family trip that will cover all our January family birthdays, too. Because of this I will again be slow in visiting and keeping up with your blogs. Thursday Dear has a follow-up with the Stroke clinic in Spokane.

Like C.S. Lewis, I do hope you will concede and accept the truth of the historical Jesus, who died for your sins and is risen from the dead and reigning with all authority at the right hand of God! Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you, too, will be saved.

Doorways

After my gargoyle post yesterday, that was a little disturbing to some, I decided to post a few doorways today in between more of my very full Oxford posts coming soon. These doorways are from Magdalen College. (Pronounced Maudlin)

I’m working on a full post from Magdalen College with some history of C.S. Lewis’ connections there.

I’ll keep it simple today and leave you with a quote from C.S. Lewis.

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” From The Weight of Glory.

Gargoyles

Gargoyles were originally designed in 13th century French architecture as a means of disposing of water. Think of them as the precursor to the gutter. Typically, a trough was cut into the back of the gargoyle and the rainwater was able to run off of the roof and through the gargoyle’s mouth.

And that’s the story I’m sticking to in showing all the gargoyles I took photos of while we were in England in September of 2022. This will be a photo heavy post.

If you would like to read more about gargoyles and grotesques in Oxford click here. You’ll see what I missed and what I’ll keep a lookout for Lord willing we ever are able to return to Oxford.

Back to the present in Colville at our Country Bungalow. It’s been raining and the temps are above freezing. Things are getting very soggy around here. We’ll call this the drip and puddle season that will soon turn to the mud season before we see the green of Spring. Dear is driving again and we managed to snow shovel the way for our truck to get out of the shop and on to the dump to make our winter dump run. Romantic, isn’t it? We did stop for lunch on the way home from the dump so that’s a thing. 🙂 Happy New week to you.

Two for One

My return to our Oxford travels post today is a two for one. It will cover Sunday and Monday in Oxford, September 18th and 19th of 2022.

On Sunday morning we had some breakfast in the apartment before we walked a little under a mile to St. Luke’s Chapel where we would attend church. We researched churches before we left home and emailed a couple pastors. Andrew Young emailed us back and after further research we decided to worship at his church, the Oxford Evangelical Presbyterian Church. They meet on Sunday mornings at St. Luke’s Chapel, 10:30 a.m. On our way we passed the Oxford University Press Building and this next building.

The Radcliffe Observatory, which is now part of Green Templeton College. This is the back of the building. A statue of Atlas is on top of the tower.

I did not take this photo of Atlas. This is the author of the photo.

As we walked up to the door of St. Luke’s we saw two of the people from Florida that we met at the C.S. Lewis Kilns tour. The Father/daughter duo were in Oxford because the daughter took a job in Oxford. Her dad was helping her get settled. She chose this church to attend while she lives in Oxford. That was a fun 2nd encounter.

We also met a young family who are in Oxford for the husband to earn his doctorate. This family was from Southern California and are part of Grace Community Church, Dear and my first church after we were married.

Pastor Andrew spoke on The Source of Christ’s Authority using Mathew 7:28-29 as part of his text. Part of his outline; 1. Who Jesus Was, 2. What Jesus Taught, 3. How Jesus Lived. What stood out to me; Jesus has permanent authority because of who He is. Jesus is true to the Word of God. Jesus was the obedient Son of God. We live under Christ’s authority. We need to be obedient. Believe, worship, follow Jesus.

After the service we talked with a few more of the folks before we walked back to The Turf Tavern to try to get a seat for a Sunday Roast.

The streets were a little more crowded than usual.

The only seat we could find was in this outdoor section of the Turf. We kept our eyes peeled for a table to open up inside.

This part of The Turf shares a wall with New College. The tower behind and the gargoyles are part of New College.

When our food arrived a table opened up inside and our server delivered the food to our new location. Hooray.

I had the lamb roast and Dear enjoyed the Fish and Chips.

After our meal we decided to shop at the Sainsbury Market on the edge of the Westgate shopping center. We wanted to have food for our meals on Monday since it was the day of Queen Elizabeth the II’s funeral and we knew a lot of places could be closed.

Back to our apartment above the never closed cheap pub, The Swan and Castle. We did not choose to have any meals there but a lot of other people did.

Into the building and that was almost the end of the day.

After unpacking our groceries we decided we needed to add a couple items but our local Sainsbury closed early on Sunday so after looking online we found a Tesco Express that stayed open late on Sunday. Got our walking shoes back on and made the evening trek, a half mile away. Home again, home again, jiggety jig. Now we were equipped for a day at home on Monday.

We woke up on Monday and watched the coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

We enjoyed a charcuterie while watching.

We were in awe of these young men who carried the coffin up and down stairs and down long aisles. It was a wonderful memorial tribute to the Queen.

After the coverage ended we saw that the Slug and Lettuce, a restaurant in the complex was open so we walked down and had a hot meal. We wouldn’t recommend the restaurant, though. Slug was appropriate in their title.

We had big plans for Tuesday our last full day in the apartment before we moved out to Woodstock for a couple nights.

Cheers!

A Day With C.S. Lewis

Those of you who are familiar with C.S. Lewis and his series The Chronicles of Narnia will see Mr. Tumnus on this doorway in Oxford. It is said that this doorway was an inspiration for C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Warning: This is a long post, be ye forewarned…

On Saturday September 17th we had our first taxi experience in Oxford. Our first ride was to Holy Trinity Parish Church in Headington Quarry where C.S. Lewis worshipped.

We had a tour of The Kilns, C.S. Lewis’ home while he lived on the outskirts of Oxford, scheduled for noon. We wanted to visit the church before our tour to see the Narnia Etched Window and to visit Lewis’s grave.

We had the church to ourselves.

It’s not easy to take photos of an etched window.

The church had this prayer by the window.

O God of searing truth and surpassing beauty, we give you thanks for C.S. Lewis, whose sanctified imagination lights fires of faith in young and old alike. Surprise us also with your joy and draw us into that new and abundant life which is ours in Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

From the church we headed out to find The Kilns, a mile walk.

The site was so understated we walked right past it and headed into the C.S. Lewis Nature Preserve. After a roundabout we made it back to the home of C.S. Lewis and waited in the garden for our tour to begin.

As we waited in the garden, several other people arrived to wait for our scheduled tour. Everyone who arrived were also from the United States. The home states represented were Texas, Illinois, Virginia, Florida, Minnesota and Washington State.

Colin was our tour guide and he shared many interesting things about Lewis and his brother. More information about the Kilns and C.S. Lewis can be found here.

The home is modest and is maintained by the C.S. Lewis Foundation.

This poster was in the meeting room in the house with a nod to the Eagle and Child or the Bird and Baby where Lewis and the Inklings would meet up.

Sadly, the Eagle and Child in Oxford was closed when we visited and was closed since March of 2020. Hopefully someone will take over the renovations and open it again in the future.

After our tour we had scheduled another Taxi to take us to The Trout for our meal of the day. We were happy to see the taxi waiting for us when the tour was completed.

We had reservations for a meal at 2pm at The Trout a favorite of C.S. Lewis. It was good we made those reservations because when we arrived we noticed a sign that said they were fully booked and wouldn’t accept walk-ins.

We had a good meal experience and our server took care of all our needs including arranging for our third taxi ride of the day back to our apartment. A very full Saturday and we were happy to enjoy the evening in our apartment making plans for our Sunday.

St. Barnabas Church, Oxford (Jericho)

On Friday September 16th we decided on a self-guided tour of the Jericho area of Oxford. This day was a student open day at all the Oxford colleges so none of the colleges were open to general visitors only to perspective students and their families.

We walked north from our apartment and followed Walking Oxford, a worthwhile book of walking tours that we purchased before traveling to Oxford.

St Barnabas Jericho is a fine Victorian Basilica-style Church in west Oxford, built in 1869.

Inside, the church is very beautiful with wall panels in the eastern apse depicting Christ in Majesty above the 12 Apostles. On the other walls, panels feature the animals mentioned in the Book of Revelation, chapter 4.

The High Altar is higher than the nave and is reached by nine steps and has a delicately ornate gilded ciborium over it.

The intricately decorated Walnut pulpit was donated in 1887.

On the North Nave wall of the church I was taken in by these panels which I will show in more detail.

The murals on the north wall of the nave represent Te Deum laudamus, (Latin: “God, We Praise You” ) and are made of cut glass using the “opus sectile” technique.

We Praise Thee O God

We Acknowledge Thee To Be the Lord

All the Earth Doth Worship Thee ~ The Father Everlasting ~ To Thee All Angels Cry Aloud ~ The Heavens and All the Powers ~ Therein to Thee Cherubim and Seraphim Continually Do Cry ~ We Praise Thee O God Throughout All the World.

We Praise Thee O God ~ The Noble Army of Martyrs

We Praise Thee O God ~ The Goodly Fellowship of the Prophets

We Praise Thee O God ~ The Glorious Company of the Apostles

Praise The Powers ~ We Praise Thee ~ The Angels

Praise ~The Powers ~ We Praise Thee ~ Cherubin and Seraphin

They never completed the South wall because they ran out of money.

We were in Oxford during the grieving period for Queen Elizabeth II.

We left the church and continued walking north and made our way to the path along the Oxford Canal on to Walton Well Rd. We crossed the Walton Well Bridge which connected us to Walton Road.

On the way to the canal we passed Old Bookbinders and it was still too early to enjoy a refreshment there.

 

Along Walton Well Rd. were a group of terrace residences nos 11-25 which included these finely carved scenes from the life of Elijah on the arches above the first floor windows, with the prophet being fed by ravens at one end of the terrace and whisked up to heaven at the other.

After we turned south on to Walton Road we came to the entrance to St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery.

We spent some time here poking around and then it was time to move on to wet our whistle.

We thought we were ready for some Fish and Chips, too. We stopped at the Jericho Tavern, no fish and chips. We stopped at Jude the Obscure, no fish and chips.

We decided to head further south and east taking Little Clarendon St. where we discovered the wonderful Gail’s Bakery and bought a couple goodies to enjoy later. We were still on our quest for Fish and Chips.

We found the Lamb and Flag where The Inklings (C.S. Lewis/Tolkien) were known to frequent off St. Giles but alas it was closed for renovations. Bird and Baby or Eagle and Child has been closed for 2 years and there were no signs of renovations when we walked past.

Our Fish and Chips hunt was becoming a real challenge. Walking along St. Giles we popped into The Randolph and sat down in the Alice dining room.

After being ignored for well over our usual tolerance level we walked out and continued our quest along George St. and tried the Wig and Pen and to our dismay they were out of Fish and Chips, too.

At this point we decided to go back to Broad and head over to our fast becoming favorite The Turf Tavern.

We sat at table #1 and waited for our Fish and Chips because they had not run out!

Cheers from the Turf Tavern! The end of a long walking day in Oxford overrun by prospective students and their parents who all decided to eat up the Fish and Chips! Thankfully they didn’t all try to find the Turf Tavern tucked away from the main streets of town.

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Back to the present. Today begins the week of Thanksgiving here in the U.S.A. Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. We are looking forward to all of our kids being together. The west siders arrive on Thursday and Friday. Thanksgiving day we will be at our Colville kids’ home for our Thanksgiving meal. Friday and Saturday we’ll spend time at our country bungalow all together. We will be counting our blessings together.

World Cup started yesterday and our TV service is set to record all the games. I’m a huge soccer fan. The USA has two of our Seattle Sounders on the roster. The team from Ecuador has one of our players and the team from Cameroon has one of our players, also.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world and you all recount the things you can be thankful for!

The Cotswolds 2022

It’s been a while since my last post on our trip to England in September of this year. I have a goal to finish my posts before the end of the year. Our tour with Go Cotswolds, a small family owned touring company, was called Cotswolds in a Day.

On Thursday September 15th (two months ago!) we walked to the Oxford Train Station to be picked up for our day in the Cotswolds. At the station while waiting for the tour van we met another couple waiting for the tour. We enjoyed getting to know them and connecting some dots in our backgrounds that intersected. The rest of the tour group arrived and we hit the road for our first stop which was Chipping Campden. We had a set amount of time to enjoy the village. We chose to spend our time at St. James Church. That will be a separate post.

In 2013 and in 2014 we visited Chipping Campden and my posts are here in 2013 and here in 2014.

From Chipping Campden we stopped at Dover’s Hill for some panoramic views.

It was breezy!

On the way to Snowshill we passed The Broadway Tower.

St. Barnabas Church in Snowshill

Snowshill village sits on the top of the escarpment above the villages of Broadway, Buckland, and Laverton. It is a secluded village where ancient pretty cottages and a 19th century church cluster around a small green. As its name implies – if there is any snow about then you will find it here first.

This was our tour group on this day.

In 2014 Dear and I enjoyed this little village and my post is here.

The weather was good with beautiful skies. Our next stop was Moreton in Marsh where we would enjoy some lunch which left little time to explore.

I hurried from our lunch table at the Talbot Inn so I could get some photos of the wonderful door on the back side of St. Edward’s Church.

If you walk around the churchyard towards the north porch, you will stumble upon what’s known locally as ‘The Yew Tree door’ or ‘The Hobbit door’.

“Speak friend and enter”

In 2014 we had more time in Stow on the Wold and my posts with more information are here and here.

Next time the villages of Bourton on the Water and Bibury.

 

The Martyrs ~ Oxford and Beyond

By After Conrad Grale – British Museum

Since today is Reformation Day I decided to share my photos from Oxford taken this past September of the Martyr’s Memorial and other history linked to the Martyrs. But first I’m linking to What is Reformation Day All About at Ligonier.org

On October 31, much of the culture will be focused on candy and things that go bump in the night. Protestants, however, have something far more significant to celebrate on October 31. It’s Reformation day, which commemorates what was perhaps the greatest move of God’s Spirit since the days of the Apostles. But what is the significance of Reformation Day, and how should we consider the events it commemorates?

To read more of this history click on the link above.

More about what Reformed means in primer form can be found here.

Where St. Giles’ becomes Magdalen Street in Oxford you can’t miss this memorial to the Oxford Martyrs.

Cranmer

Latimer

Ridley

Two men stood back to back at the stake.  As a large crowd watched, a heavy chain was passed around their waists to hold them fast.  A fagot was kindled.  At the sight of the flame, the older of the two men gave utterance to the noblest and shortest sermon he ever gave in his long life of preaching.  “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man.  We shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England as I trust shall never be put out.”

These lines have become among the most famous lines in English church history.  The chain that bound Latimer and Ridley together on that morning of October 16, 1555, has continued to bind them together in the common mind.  Today, it is almost impossible to think of Latimer without also thinking of Ridley.

This is the spot on Broad Street where Ridley and Latimer were burned at the stake.

I came across this very thorough YouTube on the Oxford Martyrs.

The above explanation is posted in the University Church of St. Mary on the pillar mentioned below.

Archbishop Cranmer and Bishops Ridley and Latimer were twice tried for heresy in St. Mary’s church during Catholic Queen Mary’s attempt to reverse the Reformation. Ridley and Latimer were burned at the stake in 1555: Cranmer then recanted. In 1556 he was again brought to St. Mary’s: this pillar had been cut away to allow the building of a low platform from which he was to make his submission. At the last moment he withdrew his recantation. He walked away from the church to the fire with a firm step and smiling countenance, putting first into the flame the hand with which he had signed his recantation.

This next quote is from Drawing Near daily readings by John MacArthur ~ I have a friend who has a beautiful collection of rare Bibles. My favorite is one of the earliest printed copies, dating back to sixteenth-century England. The first time I held it in my hands I noticed that the top third of every page was covered with a dark stain. Tears filled my eyes when I realized it was from the blood of its original owner.

My friend explained that when Bloody Mary ruled England, she delighted in terrorizing Protestants and murdering as many as she could. Her soldiers would execute their victims through some bloody means, then take his or her Bible and dip it into the blood. Some of those Bibles have been preserved and are known as Martyrs’ Bibles. Scientists have confirmed that the dark stains on every page of my friend’s Bible are, indeed, human blood.

That same Bible is well worn from being studied. And many of its pages have water stains on them—perhaps from tears. Obviously it was someone’s most precious possession, and his or her blood is there to prove it. 

More and more we are finding importance in knowing the past history of the church.

HT: Discerning History