...with the Catholic History Walks, of WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL yesterday and ST GEORGE'S CATHEDRAL SOUTHWARK today.
The latter - a fine Pugin gothic church, badly damaged in an air raid in WWII but beautifully repaired - is disappointing in some of its recent additions. A ghastly, unsightly enormous yellow cross with ugly decorations stands several feet high in a side-chapel.Apparently it honours St Oscar Romero, but it is hard to see how or indeed why. He is not a local saint, and there is much important local culture that is ignored. The cathedral's regular congregation includes Londoners whose family origins are from Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas, and many European countries...and the story ofthe Church in Southwark also includes heroes and martyrs from Saxon times (St Elphege was martyred by the Vikings, nearby) to the Gordon Riots (which were started on this site, when it was St George's Fields). And how about a bit more about St George, and his links with this loop of the Thames?
There is just one newish addition of real merit - a fine stained glass window near the Blessed Sacrament chapel, , honouring St John Paul's visit to the Cathedral in 1982. This is probably the cathedral's best item: it depicts the Holy Father anointing the sick, who were gathered in the cathedral for this historic visit...the whole scene was powerful and moving.