Monday, 23 July 2012

Gloucester Cathedral

Although this blog has recently focused mostly on crafts, it was always meant to be a place to record some of the happenings of our family as well.  I don't tend to mention my Church attendance much as it jogs along quite happily with everything else, I don't often consider it to be suitable fodder for my blog, but on Saturday we had a very good fortune to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.  For somebody who has been a practicing member of the Church of England all her life this was a wonderful opportunity.  The local parishes had a draw, and our parish won so our lovely local Vicar asked us if we would like to attend a picnic in the grounds of Gloucester Cathedral...
Gloucester Cathedral is a truly beautiful place.  On this occasion the grounds were full of things for the children to do, mine had a great time on a bouncy castle shaped as Noah's Ark...
At the appointed time we wandered with our picnic through to the famous cloisters where many of the Harry Potter film Hogwarts scenes were filmed (click here for more information)...
(Image from here)
In the middle was a courtyard where the picnic was to be held, we hadn't been told much about what to expect but there were only a very few families there, I was expecting more people.  In the middle of the courtyard was a lovely fountain which had been hung with bunting, of course I had to get a picture of that...
The Archbishop spent time with each of the families, sitting with us and talking for a long time.  We had been asked to help our children think of some interesting questions to ask him, of course L didn't really need any help.  She wanted to know who God's mummy and daddy were and how Jesus could come back to life.  Pretty big questions really, but of course she had the right person to ask, he spoke to her very quietly and she listened very carefully, I only heard bits of what was said but she seemed happy with his answers.  They also discussed Milly Molly Mandy, which he said his daughter had enjoyed.

I felt him to be a genuinely thoughtful, kind, clever and gentle man.  I'm sure that he will be very glad to return to a quiet academic life when he retires from this post at the end of the year.  The British press, often noted as being particularly vicious and cruel, have reserved a special amount of vitriol for him over the years.  The fact he refuses to simplify or talk down to people, assuming instead that people are thoughtful and prepared to listen (as most of them are), has made it easy to twist his words.  In the future we may look back at his intelligent and careful leadership and realize how lucky we were.

I have promised myself another trip to Gloucester Cathedral soon, as I didn't really have the chance for a proper look around and the place is truly fascinating.  I'd like to read up about it and then take the girls back for a proper tour.  There are so many things we haven't discovered properly in our area yet and this is high on the list of must sees.  It positively glistened in the rare sunshine.

I hope all of you in the UK are out enjoying the wonderful weather as well, isn't it a relief?

12 comments:

  1. The Cathedral looks magnificent now the scaffolding is down.

    Funnily enough when we saw The Archbishop on the local news that evening, Mr Clicky Needles said much the same as you.

    Suuuuuunnnnnnn. Yeeeeeeesssssssss.

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    1. It was indeed magnificent, we will be visiting again very soon. He was a lovely, funny man, I hope plenty of people saw that side of him while he was here.

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  3. I will say, I don't mind seeing the pictures of the Cathedral! I didn't get enough church visiting when I was in England, and I love seeing your pics! And so cool that you got to meet and chat with the Archbishop! I'm not totally up on how the Church of England works, but from what I recall from my trip, he is a *very* important person.

    A rare bit of English sunshine? Makes your photos look even more vibrant :)

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  4. Wow those ceilings are positively awe inspiring! What an amazing cathedral!

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time, and what a great experience for your girls, long remembered I should think.....I do wish you'd have listened to the answers, I truly would love to know myself ;-)

    Isn't the sun a dream! I am almost too scared to think on it too much tho' just incase it disappears!

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    1. Oh I did listen, but he spoke very quietly to her! I got the gist though, I didn't want to write it out in full on here because it would be a post by itself and would probably belong on a different blog altogether.

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  5. That cathedral is extraordinary! What history you have in UK. I love that HP tidbit and will check out the link.
    It's so awesome how you got to get up close and personal with the Archbishop. I love what your daughter asked. Children's innocence and curiosity are so pure and from the heart.

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  7. Love your photographs of Gloucester Cathedral, particularly the one of the cloisters.

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  8. Oh my...this is just beautiful..Someone who has never traveled outside of the US..I am truly jealous that you live never something as gorgeous as this...Thanks for sharing your photos and what a lovely day with your girls!

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  9. Hello Harriet, I love this post. I left something for you on my blog. XOXO

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  10. Hello, great blog, I love the Olmpic style blanket, hope you are enjoying the hols, see you soon x Joanne

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