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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hidden Gems

Lincoln Cathedral About 400 Years Ago

By John Campbell, Overseas Liaison Officer for the Church of England Guild of Vergers

Many of you may follow me on Facebook at Lincoln Cathedral's Official page with my series of posts entitled, "Hidden Gems." Posts have included shots often hidden, off piste gems in often obscure corners of the upper regions of the building. Others are often in accessible areas but missed as the pilgrim passes by oblivious to the details surrounding them.

Revelations highlight ancient and modern observations including an ancient fossil at the foot of the shrine of St Hugh, traces of blue, red and gold embellishment found on the pulpitum, ancient and modern graffiti, brilliant sun rises, simple decorations and detailed elaborate carvings. These are coupled to the real gems (the true treasures of the church - as would be depicted by the Deacon - later saint - Laurence) the human presence in the building: visitor, staff, pilgrim, contractor, communicant, all users of this sacred space.

It is a joy and a privilege to share Lincoln Cathedral through the modern technology which is Facebook. It is also a privilege to share these treasures in a tangible form as we welcome people physically to Lincoln and not least within the 'world wide fellowship' of our guilds and with vergers worldwide.

Recent visitors welcomed have included the planned and the impromptu like Eduardo Fanfani on his intensive visit to the UK from Rome. It was an enjoyable experience to welcome Eduardo and spend an all too short 50 minutes exploring and explaining the cathedral. It was no less a privilege to welcome a pilgrimage under the leadership of your chaplain, The Rev. Matthew Corkern, who with a party of 31, including many VGEC members, spent 72 hours enjoying a mixture of "faith, fun and fellowship" as part of their pilgrimage from Windsor to Canterbury on a somewhat circuitous route.

As well as welcoming "overseas members" of the VGEC to Lincoln, I am often able to arrange introductions to several other venues. I am grateful to: James Armstrong - Carlisle Cathedral, Alex Carberry - York Minster and Martin Castledine-Westminster Abbey, who have assisted in welcoming visitors from USA, New Zealand, Italy, Australia, and other Anglican communities.

Please use your Overseas Liaison officer to contact vergers, assist with itineraries, help you find those hidden gems from the small (bee carved in a quire stall) to the large (Lincoln Cathedral, an amazing pile of stones), the man made, the natural and the spiritual - I am here to help.

Pax vobiscum
John G Campbell
Dean's Verger - Lincoln Cathedral
Overseas Liaison Officer - CEGV
[email protected]

PS: For a stunning history of Lincoln Cathedral, see The Cathedral Church of Lincoln: A History and Description of its Fabric and a List of The Bishops By A. F. Kendrick, B.A.

Abstract: John Campbell, bids us welcome and invites our requests for facts, connections, referrals on travel, tidbits, stories and notes on the history and practice of the verger's ministry. This post includes a link to an elegant downloadable book entitled The Cathedral Church of Lincoln.

1 comment:

  1. Dear John,
    I well remember the wonderful tour you gave us when David Jette led a group of vergers around the UK!
    If any visitors are especially interested in needlepoint, Hardwick Hall, the manor house (more like a palace) of "Bess of Shrewsbury" is fabulous.
    For Americans, a visit to Sulgrave Manor, north of Oxford, is especially interesting. It is the ancestral home of George Washington, and the tours are especially good - the docent has visitors sit down as she explains why the windows are different sizes, how the spit in the kitchen works, etc. And there is some lovely needlework to be seen as well.
    Best wishes,
    Bid Drake


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