16th November – Ælfric of Abingdon – d.1005

Ælfric of Abingdon
November 16th is Saint Ælfric’s Feast Day. Ælfric, a monk from Abingdon, went on to become Abbot of St Albans, and then Archbishop of Canterbury.
Ælfric of Abingdon
Quite by chance, during a lunchtime walk, I found the parish church of St Mary’s, in the parish of Cardington, was open and so had a few minutes to look round inside. One notable feature is a chapel dedicated to Samuel Whitbread, the brewer and his family, who was born in Cardington.

I also noticed a book of saints and pilgrims – open at 14th-15th November, and so turned the page to 16th-17th and saw Ælfric of Abingdon – d.1005. Ælfric became well known far beyond Abingdon. I was suprised to see Abingdon mentioned in such a far away church. He died on this day in 1005.

Coincidentally it is also the Feast Day of St Edmund of Abingdon who died on 16th November 1240, at Soisy-Bouy in France.

2 Comments November 16, 2017

Auguste Rodin – at second hand

My wife went to the Adfas talk today at Trinity Church, and I am typing this as she speaks.

It was titled ‘Auguste Rodin – The First Modern Sculptor?’

She first went into the church hall next door thinking the lecture would be there, but found people doing some sort of stretching exercise class.

Next door she found Trinity Church was already 3/4 full. She had struck lucky because usually non-members are charged £6 but today to encourage new members the lecture was free. Adfas meet on the third Wednesday of the month, with an art lecture repeated morning and afternoon.

The lecture was given by a German lady who had studied at The Courtauld Institute.
The First Modern Sculptor
She looked at how Sculpture had changed through Rodin’s work. She showed how he acted as a bridge between traditional and modern art. In his day some of his works were ridiculed – the way he simplified figures to bring out their character. The people who commissioned a statue of Balzac by Rodin were not very pleased with how the plaster was hacked and punched together. It looked ‘like a toad in a sack, and still wrapped up.’

The lecturer also showed some of Rodin’s sketches of nudes and apologised that she could not show more in a church setting.

It was a well presented lecture.

Tomorrow at Trinity Church hall there will be Baby Ballet Classes for 2-4 year olds.

Leave a Comment November 15, 2017

Oxfam, Mostly Books, Willow’s Shakeshop, and Abingdon Picture Framing

On Saturday I popped into Oxfam.
The little Library Cookbook
At the Counter I met not only the Oxfam shop manager, and Roger who has worked at the shop for many years, but also a young lady from Mostly Books.The little Library Cookbook

She had leaflets for an interesting event Mostly Books are hosting on Thursday, 16 November, when Kate Young – the Guardian columnist and prize winning food blogger – will be at Mostly Books to present The Little Library Cookbook. Each recipe starts with a literary quote from her well stocked kitchen and library.
Oxfam
Oxfam have a quiz leading up to Christmas. You just need to pop in for the next five weeks and collect the 5 letters to have the chance to win a big prize.
The little Library Cookbook
Directly over the road from Oxfam, a new shop called Willow’s Shakeshop opened two weeks ago. In front they have crafts and gifts, and at the back they have a cafe.
The little Library Cookbook
Between Oxfam and Mostly Books is Abingdon Picture Framing.

3 Comments November 14, 2017

Akong – A Remarkable Life, and Christian Aid Petition to Banks


A Showing of the film Akong – A Remarkable Life, will take place on Tuesday, 14 November 2017, at 7.30 – 9.30 pm, in the Garden Room at St Ethelwold’s House. This feature-length documentary captures the fascinating life of Akong: a teacher, spiritual leader and doctor of Tibetan medicine. Entrance is by donation, with all money going directly to the Akong Memorial Foundation https://akongmemorialfoundation.org/
Christian Aid Petition
On Saturday 18th November there will be a Christian Aid petition asking the big banks how they use our money. It has already been signed by people at some of the town’s churches and the organisers are looking to get lots more comments and signatures on the Market Place.

Kindness Day is on 13th November in the UK. World Kindness Day is on the same day. Visit Kindness Day UK for more.

8 Comments November 13, 2017

12th November – Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday is the second Sunday of November and ceremonies are held throughout the country in churches, cenotaphs and war memorials.

We had a knock on the door at 8 am, a reminder that our car was parked on the route of the parade and needed moving. It was chilly out.
Remembrance Sunday
At 10:15 dignitaries paraded from the Guildhall to St Helen’s Church, and after a service inside joined the crowd of people already standing round the war memorial in the Square shortly before 11am.
Remembrance Sunday
They were joined at both services by soldiers from Dalton Barracks, who not only join the community at Abingdon but send teams to ceremonies round the region.
Remembrance Sunday
Many different uniformed groups took part. On Remembrance Sunday, Scouts are expected to attend and give the troop priority over their other Sunday sporting activities.
Remembrance Sunday
So at 11 Abingdon paused to pay its respects to those who lost their lives in conflict. The ‘Last Post’ was played by Abingdon Town Band member, Alison Rich, to mark the start of the two minute silence at 11. She then sounded the ‘Reveille’. After which The Deputy Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Felicity Dick; the Mayor of Abingdon, Councillor Jan Morter; MP for Abingdon and Oxford West, Layla Moran, the Royal British Legion and many other organisations laid wreaths of red poppies at the memorial.
Remembrance Sunday
The poppy is the symbol of the Day of Remembrance because many years ago poppies grew from the the choppy earth where troops had fallen.

Remembering is the process of ‘Bringing the past into the present’… But who now can remember what it was like to live in the trenches of WWI? Only through war poetry have those memories become part of our collective consciousness …

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz–
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench–
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?

(lines from a poem by Siegfried Sassoon called Aftermath)
Remembrance Sunday
Finally there is a march along the High Street to the County Hall. People, who could not squeeze into the Square,cheered as the band, the troops and uniformed groups marched by.

One innovation this year, and a sign of the times after recent terrorist attacks by vehicles driven into crowds, was that a tractor, and land rover were parked at strategic points – as crash barriers.

12 Comments November 12, 2017

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