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Showing posts with label cathedral. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cathedral. Show all posts

Sunday, 2 August 2015

East Anglian Churches blog updated

This Friday we went by train to Norwich with our "London" grandchildren. We visited the Castle Museum and Norwich Cathedral, which is definitely one of the finest in England.

See .

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


Every week for the next 8 weeks I am attending physio (for my stroke) at the Prince of Wales hospital in the city of Ely.  This was once an RAF hospital.

Ely is a delightful place with a cathedral 1300 years old (LHS). My wife walks into town during my sessions. As a local parishoner she gets free entry too. Down by the river Ouse is lovely too and the market , although small, is delightful.

Years ago, during WW2, my dad (see RHS) had his appendix removed in the old Bishop's Palace in Ely (RHS).  He flew Lancaster bombers (see below) in the Pathfinders and was very lucky to survive the war. He crash landed once on the way home. He rarely spoke of his WW2 experiences: I think he did not really like the idea of helping to kill innocent civilians. He was much happier living his simple rural life in Devon after the war years . Wars are so bad for everyone on all sides. It humbles me to realise how young he was in those days: 20-26yrs old only. In the last months of the war he had a young child too. I never realised how brave he was until it was too late to tell him.

The Bishop's Palace,which dates back to the 15th century, was a Sue Ryder home, but since 2012 has been the home for the Kings School's 6th form.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Spiritual Places

In the last few weeks I have visited several of England's famous chapels and cathedrals. Local to home is Kings College Chapel in Cambridge, a most wonderful building from the late 1400s with its awe inspiring fan vaulting and famous for its choir at Christmas. Also I visited Liverpool Anglican Cathedral where my wife and I met in 1968 and the Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral in the same city, also known as Patty's Wigwam because of its unusual shape. Finally, today I visited Coventry Cathedral built 50 years ago adjacent to the site of the old cathedral bombed by German bombers in WW2.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
When I go into a cathedral there is usually a sense of the holy, the other, in our presence. Even as a marginal Christian one senses this and the link with others who have been in the same place years, perhaps hundreds of years, before to be quiet and open to the beyond in our midst.

These days it is sometimes harder to feel this sense of wonder in some of our great cathedrals: they are busy busy places with novel ways to raise money to keep the roof from leaking or to "engage" (how I hate that word) the common man or child actively. So, in this bustle, the quietness and sense of peace is missing. Sadly I sensed this in the Liverpool Anglican cathedral: it no longer felt a holy place. Likewise in Kings College chapel which is now very much on the tourist trail.

And yet, in the Liverpool Metropolitan cathedral (Paddy's wigwam) and in Coventry it was different. Both places still evoked a sense of peace, otherness and calm, helped in both cases by the magnificent stained glass windows which bathe the naves in light and colour.

No doubt other religious faiths have their own temples and places of peace. I hope the sense of the spiritual is still alive in them.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Simple pleasures

Feeding the ducks near Ely Cathedral
Nearly 4 years ago we had our first little grandson. Since then we have been blessed with another grandson and a little granddaughter.  It is hard to explain just how powerful a bond there is between grandparents and grandchildren: in some ways it is even stronger than the bond to our own children. Today we enjoyed the simple pleasures of walking around Ely with its cathedral with our eldest grandson, feeding the ducks and walking in the woods and playing hide-and-seek between the trees. We know that all too soon he and the other grandchildren will grow older and away from us. For now we are enjoying every single moment.