We paid a quick visit to the old Norman church in Riccall, a few miles south of York and just slightly north of Selby, where my first Mormon Harper ancestor — my mother was a Harper — was christened as a child into the Church of England. The church was built about 1100 AD, on the site of an earlier Saxon structure, and Riccall played a supporting role in the pivotal events of AD 1066.
We had visited last year, and even joined in compline services on a Sunday evening, followed by a very friendly visit with the priest and his wife. This year, the church was locked up. But, to our delight, an elderly parishioner who identified himself as “Tony” showed up just about then with a friend. They were getting things ready for a wedding. We chatted with Tony for a bit while his friend practiced on the organ. Tony says that, having visited twice during the past year — our names were there in the guest book to prove it — we’re more active than most members of the parish. One more visit, he commented, and they’ll put us on the church council.
We drove past Selby Abby, and then headed to Cambridge. Unfortunately, part of the M1 motorway was closed, and we were substantially delayed. So we had just barely enough time when we reached our destination to drop our things off at our bed-and-breakfast near Cambridge and then, in our turn, to be dropped off by our friends the Flacks at the Cambridge railway station for a trip into London Kings Cross Station. From there, we took the Piccadilly Line to South Kensington, and, having arrived quicker than we feared we might, spent about forty-five minutes in the VIctoria and Albert Museum before it closed. We had an excellent Thai dinner across the street from the Ismaili Centre on Exhibition Road, and then went over to the Hyde Park Chapel, where I gave a fireside on the Book of Mormon to about a hundred Young Single Adults. I think it went reasonably well. The group was ethnically quite diverse, too, which pleased me a lot.
Then we went back to Kings Cross and caught the train to Cambridge, arriving about midnight. My only regret, because I like Cambridge very, very much, is that this is the second trip on which I’ve spent a night in Cambridge with the intention of seeing some of my favorite sights here (e.g., Kings College Chapel and Trinity College) but have arrived so late and have had to leave so early the next day that I saw nothing.
Posted from Cambridge, England