Sunday, 30th April, 2023

Today we did something different. We decided to go to McDonald’s for breakfast! After breakfast we headed to St Barnabas Church in Jericho, a suburb of Oxford, where our friend Claire Oakley is in the choir. For those of you who understand such things, Saint Barnabas is “high” church, similar to St Peter’s, Eastern Hill, in Melbourne. The service was at 10:30am. There were a lot of bells and smells! There were 12 adults in the choir. The setting was Missa Brevis II by Denis Bèdard. The psalm was sung proficiently to plainchant. The communion anthem was "Loving Shepherd of Thy Sheep" by Philip Ledger. Unfortunately, the pipe organ was out of action but the temporary electronic instrument did a reasonable job. We were made to feel very welcome.

A quote from the "Te Deum"

St Barnabas is the first church I have been into that has its own soccer table!

Satoshi found a new friend outside the church.

After the service, we drove back to our accommodation to park the car. We then walked down to the nearby Duke of Monmouth pub where we enjoyed a roast for lunch.

Our next adventure was a 50 minute cruise on the River Isis. It was a small boat which had the capacity for perhaps a dozen passengers. The skipper had to deal with several obstacles along the way such as chartered boats which had inexperienced skippers and a rowing regatta! The engine was electric making our trip very peaceful. The commentary from our skipper, Will, was both interesting and witty.

As we arrived in plenty of time, we were able to enjoy a cup of tea at the Folly Restaurant before the cruise. These flowers were on the table.

A view of Christ Church College

We were told that this stretch of river is one of the last places in England where one can moor a boat free for as long as desired. This one has clearly been forgotten!

It was not only other boats that were on the river!

We were told that this house has been recently sold for a very large amount of money.

This pub is only accessible via the river or by walking along the tow path.

Proud parents!

We were told that, in medieval times, students could keep a cow without cost on the Christ Church Meadow! Apparently, this rule has never been revoked. I'm not sure of the legal status of these cows!

On our return from the cruise, I used the facilities at the Folly Restaurant. I hoped that the quantity of toilet paper provided was not indicative of the quality of the food served there!!

Our next scheduled event was not until Evensong at 6:00pm so, as we had some spare time, we decided to walk around Oxford. We found St Michael's at the North Gate. Originally built around 1000–1050, with the tower from 1040 still in existence, the church is Oxford's oldest building.

A particularly shiny lectern!

The organ includes some "en chamade" pipes.

This statue of George and the Dragon is a memorial to King George V. Poor dragon - no wonder there are none left!

This window depicts Abraham and Isaac, "I am the resurrection and the life" and "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 1:13)

Blessed are the merciful (Justice). Usually, images of justice have her blindfolded so she is impartial - not sure about this one!

Blessed are the Peacemakers (Love)

Melchizedek, King of Salem

St Michael

Detail of the above (What big pointy teeth you have, Satan!)

Hezekiah, King of Judah

The Tree of Life

We were told that there were 26 colleges which would have Evensong tonight (as it was a Sunday). I could not find information about most of them but Exeter was offering music that we both like so we opted for it, not knowing anything about it. We hit the jackpot! The Chapel at Exeter College is stunning and so was the choir! The music was the Responses by Tomkins, the Canticles by Dyson in D and the anthem "Blessed be the God and Father" by SS Wesley. The choir was made up of men and women, mostly students. The organ voluntary was Bach's Toccata in C BWV 564. Like the rest of the music, it was played superbly. It was wonderful to be there!

The entry to the chapel is ornate...

... and it had fearsome creatures to keep away evil. They must have been asleep becuase we got in!

The windows are absolutely amazing. Each one depicts six scenes from the Bible.

Wooden lions this time

Photos just do not do this chapel justice. The beauty of it  took my breath away.

Gideon and the fleece (Judges 6: 36-40)

Samson bringing the house down.

Philip and the eunuch (Acts 8:26-40)

Jesus being tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11)

The Israelites Crossing the Red Sea (note the pillar of fire and the column of smoke at the top).

The Prophet Jeremiah being lowered into a cistern (Jeremiah 38:6)

The Annunciation

This tapestry was designed by William Morris and is one of the chapel's great treasures. It's about two metres wide.

JRR Tolkien was a student at Exeter College. His daughter-in-law created this bust in 1977.

The ceiling in the ante-chapel

Following Evensong, we went in search of dinner (it being 7:30pm). We had selected KFC but, although they were still open, they had closed all their seating so we gave them a miss. I asked "Siri" to take us to diiner. She suggested "Cosmo" which was only about 100 metres away. We found that Cosmo is a buffet restaurant with both western and asian mains together with a carvery, a salad bar and desserts. This was perfect as it gave us both many choices. The end of another wonderful day!

< Back   Forward >

Back to Calendar