Here in England a most terrible catastrophe….the laptop wouldn’t connect to the internet…but finally in Oxford we were able to get connected. We recovered from jet lag on the Isle of Wight visiting friends and old haunts. I returned to visit the two parish churches where I was an Anglican vicar and was not surprised to find that they now have a woman vicar named Drucilla. Ah well, they wanted women priests and now they have one. We had a delightful visit to  Quarr Abbey–one of my favorite places. They have created a very nice visitor’s chapel in the crypt where we were received into the Catholic Church in 1995. Some pictures to follow once I get my camera hooked up.

Then a quick drive up to Oxford to stay at the HQ of the St Barnabas Society–the Catholic charity for which I used to work. Now, after a very nice stroll through Oxford we’re having a cream tea in a little cafe just off Cornmarket next to St Michael’s Church. Oxford (and all of England) seems drab and damp. There is an air of defeat about the place, or it is just my imagination or perhaps the weather. Nevertheless, it is pleasant to be here exploring favorite alleyways, snooping through well remembered chapels and colleges. There was a hotel where C.S.Lewis and T.S.Eliot once had lunch. There is the hotel where Lewis met Joy Davidman for the first time…there is the Bird and Baby where the Inklings met.

More on our English visit later.

  • mike cliffson

    fr.” There is an air of defeat about the place, or it is just my imagination or perhaps the weather.” Unquote.
    I would probably be saddened, but I would be interested, to find if You agree with my late father’s assessment, mostly related to Life issues in society as a whole, and extending to the church: that stateside as well as the Uk,THEY had won, but that Stateside WE hadn’t accepted defeat and had more fighting spirit, even allowing for the Brit habit of carrying on resistance rather quietly.

    • Windswept & Interesting

      It will be the weather ! low cloud, rain, claustrophobic, you’re just not used to it any more. No defeat accepted here I can tell you,

      “Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.”
      Winston Churchill

  • http://otritt.wordpress.com/ The Egyptian

    a woman vicar named Drucilla

    Really,,,, really! That’s almost a name from central casting. You couldn’t have done better yourself.
    Any sightings of Daphne or the Vicar, hope you have a nice visit and more stories, PLEASE

  • Ron

    Hope you are able to visit St. Philip’s Book Shop on St. Aldates just past Christ Church gardens. The shop has shelves and shelves of Newman, Chesterton, etc. I picked up a wonderful biography of Edmund Campion there last summer. If you can take in Mass at the Oxford Oratory it might help pick up your spirits. Blessings to you in England!!

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ Jessica Hoff

    No, it is not your imagination Father. America can still avoid our fate – but there’s not a lot of time left.

    I second Ron’s comment about St. Phillip’s Books – there’s a good tea shop just by the Catholic chaplaincy a few doors down, too.

  • flyingvic

    Damp? Certainly – the wettest summer for a hundred years, they tell us. Drab? Not if you’ve been watching the Olympics and Paralympics – especially the opening ceremonies. Defeated? More, I suspect, the calm before the storm. The coalition government has been unpopular with everybody except itself ever since the election; and ordinary people in the country will only take so much of very rich people in the Cabinet telling us that ‘we’re all in this together’ as they raise taxes yet again. Why don’t they try reducing the duty on fuel for once and see what effect that has on people’s morale and what stimulus it gives to the economy?

  • Anne

    Yes, I would say defeated is a good description. The government has a stranglehold on the populace, and people are intimidated into silence by fear of being accused of discrimination or intolerance. The nanny state is intolerable – I have finally become accustomed to it again after being home 3 years (after 10 years in the US). Someone told me the US is headed this way, just one generation later. I don’t know if that is inevitable, but if so, it’s tragic. As Ronald Reagan said, “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.”

  • Sue Sims

    Just returned from a month in the USA, and while I agree that your country is far more upbeat – in many ways I’d love to live there permanently – at least we now have proper toilet paper again! I do suggest, Father, that you stock up with Andrex before returning…