Easter Weekend 2022

“Grey towers of Durham, Yet well I love thy mixed and massive piles. Half church of God, half castle ‘gainst the Scot, And long to roam these venerable aisles, With records stored of deeds long since forgot.” — Sir Walter Scott

Spent the weekend in Durham on an Easter Pilgrimage. I have now visited the shrines of Saint Thomas Becket (Canterbury), Saint William (York), and Saint Cuthbert (Durham). Attended a reading of the Passion at the Durham Cathedral (Anglican) on Good Friday and Easter Mass was at St. Cuthbert’s RC.

The Durham Cathedral was built on a peninsula and all of the bridges that connect to it are interesting architecturally (even Kingsgate Footbridge). My favorite is Prebends Bridge and it has a link to J.M.W. Turner and Sir Walter Scott.

Climbed the 325 steps of the Durham Cathedral Tower and spent an inordinate amount of time in the St Cuthbert Shrine and admiring the Illumination, Daily Bread, Millennium, and Transfiguration windows. The Rose window above the Chapel of the Nine Altars rivals the one at Notre-Dame de Paris.

This is from a sign at the entrance of the cathedral:

May God’s blessing and peace go with you.
“God of the journey, who inspired the northern saints to walk in your way and to bear your light; bless us on our pilgrimage in life, that we may find companions on the road, learn to travel with joyful and generous hearts, and discover your welcome at our journey’s end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

This is from a marker outside the Shrine of St Cuthbert:

St Cuthbert’s Shrine
BORNE BY HIS
FAITHFUL FRIENDS
FROM HIS LOVED HOME
OF LINDISFARNE
HERE, AFTER LONG WANDERINGS,
RESTS THE BODY OF
ST. CUTHBERT
IN WHOSE HONOUR
WILLIAM OF ST. CARILEPH
BUILT THIS CATHEDRAL CHURCH
AND AT HIS SIDE LIES BURIED
THE HEAD OF
ST. OSWALD
KING OF NORTHUMBRIA
AND MARTYR, SLAIN IN BATTLE
BY THE HEATHEN
WHOM HE SO LONG DEFIED.

I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but there was one painting in the Chapel of the Nine Altars that was hideous. The painting is ‘Margaret and David’ by Paula Rego and it looks like something from the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World.

“As an only child she was doted on by her parents who exposed her to a myriad of influences ranging from Disney and Bunuel; to Goya and traditional Portuguese fairy and folktales.”

The RC Church of St. Cuthbert’s has its own historical window. The Canon Brown window was designed by renown stained-glass artist Harry Clarke. One of the windows features the Blessed Thomas Percy (martyr).

Related
Durham Flickr Album
Sasha Ward
Libib UK Collection (enquire via email)

Nine Altars

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