SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Francis Young

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December 01, 2020
It looks increasingly as though Vindolanda was the centre of intense Christian activity in the 5th century.
September 23, 2020
The Book in the Cathedral By Christopher de Hamel Penguin, £9.99 The year 2020 marks the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of St Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, but all events planned for the year – including the loan of the martyr’s bloodstained shirt by the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to Canterbury Cathedral –
September 04, 2020
Until it ceased to be a communal event with the advent of mechanised agriculture in the 20th century, harvest was central to the month of September. Harvesters demanded “largesse”, a customary payment that could be exacted from the farmer or anyone else who stepped onto land being harvested. Colourful customs attended the harvesting of the
July 10, 2020
July’s weather made it a popular time for fairs until the late 19th century, when the home secretary suppressed most traditional local fairs on the grounds of disorder, drunkenness and immorality. But fairs had suffered a setback in the previous century: after the imposition of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752, their fixed days no longer
April 09, 2020
Easter 2020 will be the first Easter in the history of the Church when Catholics in most parts of the world will not be able to attend Mass. The situation is unprecedented. It is not, however, entirely unprecedented in England. Even during the dark days of Elizabethan persecution, there was always somewhere the faithful could
March 26, 2020
One of the most remarkable survivals in St Paul’s Church in Jarrow – itself a remarkable survivor of Anglo-Saxon architecture – is a dedication stone inscribed on April 23 685, which was laid by the first Abbot of Jarrow, Ceolfrith. Among the monks who witnessed the consecration of the new monastery that day was a
March 12, 2020
Before this week even people with an active interest in Anglo-Saxon Christianity may never have heard of St Eanswythe, the patron saint of Folkestone. But since last Friday, this hitherto obscure 7th-century abbess holds a special place in English Catholicism: her relics are, we can now say with confidence, the earliest known remains of an English saint.