Friday, November 09, 2007

Autumn twilight... Bath was especially beautiful, and a sprinkling of rain made the pavements glisten. I loved it. Visited Bath Abbey - freshly restored a couple of years ago and stunning in its beauty, the glorious symetry as you look upwards above the nave and chancel to the intricate carving soaring above...a plaque in the floor notes that the Queen came here in 1973 to mark 1,000 years of British monarchy, as the Saxon King Edgar was crowned on this site in 973 by St Dunstan and St Oswald.

Useful notes on the history of the Abbey tell us that St Elphege was Abbot here in about 980. This interests me as I grew up in the parish of St Elphege in Wallington, Surrey, was baptised and married there: Elphege was an Archbishop of Canterbury and was martyred by the Danes at Greenwich. Bath Abbey is dedicated to Sts Peter and Paul. Bath is of course a Roman city and you can visit the original Roman Baths: all part of the same Roman Empire into which Christ was born and in which Peter became the first Pope...

I gave talks to CathSoc meetings at the University of Bath and at Bath Spa University, all organised by the excellent chaplain Fr Bill. He also runs a busy parish on the city's outskirts, is hospital chaplain, active with the Ecumenical Society of the BVM, and more. The parish is dedicated to Sts Peter and Paul. He is a Servite priest and strides around in full-length traditional habit and it's really nice to see it on a modern University campus.

1 comment:

raynew said...

just read your article Re Bath Abbey especially regarding the monarchy 1000 celebrations I was in a performance of Mozarts Mass in 'C' that week in the Abbey with the Bath Choral and Orchestral Society to mark the celebrations, we also done if my memory serves me correctly Elgars old Hundreth a very good memorable evening Abbey packed to the rafters, I also took some cine film of the procession that week.