|the spire of Chichester Cathedral dating from 1075 [click to enlarge all images]|
If Salisbury Cathedral is famed, as indeed it is, for having the tallest spire of any English Cathedral, then the spire of Chichester holds the distinction of being the only one visible from the sea. But that is not all which sets Chichester apart. For in these present, enlightened times Chichester remains one of only two dioceses not in favour of, and to have voted against, the ordination of women bishops and, furthermore, whose bishop, The Right Reverend John W. Hind, BA DD, is vehemently opposed to, or so it is reported, the ordination of women generally as members of the clergy. A sad state of affairs, but more of that anon.
|the Nave of Chichester Cathedral|
But with what joy on the First Sunday in Advent to be collected by friends Nigel and Peter, Peter a Canon within the diocese of Chichester, and whisked off in 'Miss Pearl', their pearlescent motor car, to attend not only Choral Evensong in the Cathedral but also the Rededication of the Shrine of St. Richard.
|title page of the order of service|
|the prayer of St. Richard|
And what a splendid occasion. Sung Evensong, so quintessentially English, a procession of Bishop, Dean and Chapter, Canons and Clergy in full regalia, a triumph of organ music, incense, bells, and the vox humana rising up within those ancient walls. Perfectly placed in the front row of the Nave, we could not but wonder as The Reverend Alice Kemp, ordained daughter of the previous Bishop of Chichester, Bishop Eric Kemp, read from the Old Testament what thoughts might be coursing through the mind of Bishop John Hind. One of life's rich little ironies.
|the cloisters of Chichester Cathedral on the evening of 27th. November 2011|
Damp from a liberal sprinkling of holy water, on both Shrine and ourselves, we jointly decided against the ensuing 'bun fight' taking place in a side aisle and chose instead to accompany Peter on a tour of cloisters and precinct, scenes reminiscent of Trollope's 'Barchester Chronicles'.
|Marrocco's Italian restaurant at Hove on the night of 27th. November 2011|
Later, with the November night darkening the sea to an inky blackness, we found ourselves on the Hove seafront in Marrocco's Italian restaurant where, in the splendour of original 1960s décor and furnishings, we enjoyed the most wonderful Burrata mozzarella and the freshest and best sea bass ever tasted, and talked the night away.
P.S. We are so very appreciative of the concern and good wishes of so many of you during our recent, somewhat prolonged absence from, and neglect of, the Blogosphere whilst we wrestled with hospital appointments, doctors and consultants. Thank you so much.