I was a curate (parochial vicar) in the Church of England in the late 80s when an older priest introduced me to the Isle of Wight. The island is a beautiful, little known corner of England that is delightfully behind the times. Opposite the port of Portsmouth, just off the Southern coast of the English mainland, [...]
The great monastery of Monte Oliveto--nestled in the hills of Tuscany just South of the city of Siena. I visited there on my 1987 hitch hiking pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and re-visited last summer on a trip to Italy.
A drive down the Western midlands of England will take you in one day past a whole series of beautiful Abbey churches--some now Anglican cathedrals, some parish churches and some ruins. Worcester, Gloucester, Hereford, Shrewsbury and Tewkesbury are just a few. Tewkesbury Abbey dominates the small market town of Tewkesbury. Like many of the old Abbey churches [...]
The ancient Romanesque church is situated in a beautiful secluded valley in Tuscany. I visited here last summer while on a private pilgrimage to Italy. Ever since I had seen this church and been inspired by it to build our new church of Our Lady of the Rosary it had been a dream of mine to make [...]
Cloister, St Philibert, Tournus, France St Philibert in Tournus is one of the most perfect examples of French Romanesque architecture. My discovery of this church was one of those serendipitous experiences you can only have when you are out on the open road with few plans, but a good bit of curiosity and a [...]
The central panels of Ely Cathedral's Nave ceiling Ely Cathedral was originally the Abbey Church of the Great Benedictine monastery founded by St Etheldreda in 672AD. The present building dates back to 1083, and cathedral status was granted it in 1109. Until the Revolution of Henry VIII it was the Church of St Etheldreda and St Peter. [...]
Tintern Abbey Tintern Abbey in South Wales is situated in the beautiful Wye Valley--the Wye being a river that runs along the border of England and Wales. The hills rise above the river valley on the England side, and crowning the line of hills is the ancient earthwork defenses called Offa's Dyke. When my [...]
Whitby Abbey The great abbey of Whitby is where the Synod of Whitby was held in 664 at which the Irish church was reconciled to the Holy See. It stands as another solemn monument to the ravages of Henry VIII's revolution.