Posts Tagged ‘Church’


Another chance to win tickets

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News, Reburial

Leicester Cathedral - CopyGood news. There will be various services at Leicester Cathedral to commemorate Richard III during THAT week in March 2015. About a week ago, members of the Richard III Society received their ballot papers to try and get one of the sought-after seats for one of the services.

Yesterday Leicester Cathedral announced that it will be making 200 seats available for members of the general public, representing one third of all the seating in the Cathedral. This will include the following services:

  • Sunday, 22 March (6.00pm) – evening service of Compline, at which the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, will preach the sermon
  • Thursday, 26 March (11.30am) – the reburial, culminating in the lowering of the coffin below ground into the specially designed tomb
  • Friday, 27 March (12.00 noon) – Richard III’s tomb will be revealed

This ballot offers another chance to win a ticket for one of the services. As this ballot is open to the public, it does not include the special service for members of the Richard III Society on Monday, 23 March (7.00pm).

As Revd. Pete Hobson, Canon Missioner and Project Manager, explained on Facebook, “anyone can enter the ballot, for one, two or all three services, but each person will only be selected once and we can’t guarantee for which service if you out in for more than one”. They will also coordinate the allocation of tickets from their ballot with that of the Richard III Society, so that no one gets “double invites”, thus allowing as many people as possible to have a chance to attend one of the services.

Revd. Pete also mentioned that they hope to open the Cathedral to the public by mid-afternoon on Friday, 27 March, to pay their respects at the tomb.

The ballot will open on Friday 12th December, 100 days before the week of events, at 8.00 am (UK time), which is 5.00pm AEST, and close at midday (9.00pm AEST) on 31 December. The lucky ones who will be invited, wll be notified by letter, which are expected to be sent out in the week beginning 12 January. This is the same week, when the Richard III Society will notify those members, who were successful in being chosen.

To find out more about the ballot, visit the website of the Diocese of Leicester (this includes a link to the ballot):

More about the services:

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4 December 1154

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

St Albans Gateway (D Preis)Following the death of Pope Anastasius IV, Nicholas Breakspear was chosen as new pope, so far the only pope from Britain. He assumed the name Adrian IV.

He was probably born in Abbots Langley near St Albans in Hertfordshire, possibly around 1100. His father seems to have been a married priest, who later became a monk at St Albans Abbey. Nicholas studied in France and became a canon regular, and later abbot, of St Ruf near Avignon. He came to the attention of Pope Eugenius III, who made him a cardinal and sent him on a mission to reorganise the church in Scandinavia.

As Pope Adrian IV, he and Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa were rivals for supremacy in Rome. He was generous to St Albans Abbey and confirmed the archbishop of York in his metropolitan authority over the Scottish bishops, and in his freedom from that of Canterbury. In the bull Laudabiliter, he apparently gave Henry II of England papal approval for the conquest of Ireland. He died at Anagni near Rome on 1 September 1159.

Distant descendents of Nicholas Breakspear set up the W.H.Brakspear and Sons Brewery in Henley, Oxfordshire, in 1779. Apparently the pope used the symbol of a bee on his mitre, which is still used by the brewery.


Jane E. Sayers, ‘Adrian IV (d. 1159)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. [Accessed online on 14 April 2011]

Richard Cavendish, ‘Election of Pope Adrian IV’, History Today, Vol 54, Issue 12, Dec 2004, p 53. [Accessed online on 7 June 2011]

History of Brakspear Brewery’ [Accessed online on 30 November 2014]

(Photograph of the Gateway of St Albans Abbey © Dorothea Preis)

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11 NOVEMBER 1483

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Baptism of Martin Luther in Eisleben, Germany, from which his date of birth, 10 November 1483, is deducted.

He disputed the claim of the (Catholic) church that salvation could be purchased by indulgences, instead salvation is a free gift by God, received by faith in Jesus, who has redeemed our sins.  He explained his view in the 95 thesis, which he nailed on the church door in Eisleben in the evening of 31 October 1517, the evening before All Saints’ Day, when everyone would come to church.   This is often regarded as the starting point of the reformation.  While his original aim was to reform the church, the Pope saw it differently, which ultimately led to the split with the Catholic church.  As Luther was of the opinion that the Bible was the only source for knowledge of God, he translated it into German to make it accessible to everyone.

He died on 15 February 1546.

You can find out more at



31 OCTOBER 1517

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Martin Luther (born 10 November 1483) nails his 95 thesis on the church door in Eisleben in the evening of 31 October 1517, because the next day, 1 November, is All Saints’ Day, when everyone would come to church.

In the 95 theses he explains his view based on the Gospel that salvation is a free gift from God and cannot be earned by good deeds or purchased by buying indulgences . This is often regarded as the starting point of the reformation.  While his original aim was to reform the church, the Pope saw it differently, which ultimately led to the split with the Catholic church.  As Luther was of the opinion that the Bible was the only source for knowledge of God, he translated it into German to make it accessible to everyone.

31 October is celebrated in the Lutheran church as Reformation Day commemorating Luther’s stand.



Two Archbishops and a King

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News, Reburial

Leicester Cathedral - CopyIt has just been announced that both the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury will be taking part in services in Leicester Cathedral to mark the reinterment of King Richard III.  The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster is the most senior clergy of the Catholic Church in the UK and the Archbishop of Canterbury is his counterpart in the Church of England/Anglican Church.

Since Richard’s remains were found two years ago, the Anglican Diocese of Leicester has worked closely with the Catholic Diocese of Nottingham, which includes Leicester, to ensure that the reburial will be handled with dignity and honour.

Anglican and Catholic clergy will celebrate at major as well as other services during the week 22 to 28 March 2015.  At the reburial service on 26 March, other Christian denominations as well as the World Faiths will be represented.

It has been occasionally been said that Leicester Cathedral is too modern for a medieval monarch.  While it is true that its modern Cathedral status is relatively new (1927), there were already Bishops of Leicester from the 7th to the 9th century.  The actual church was built by the Normans, replacing an earlier Saxon church.  The Norman church was rebuilt and enlarged during the 13th and 15th century.  So we can assume that Richard would have been very much aware of the church during his visits to Leicester.

You can find the full schedule of the planned services here.

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Thursday, 25 August 1485

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

ArchaeologyRichard III was buried in the choir of the church of the Grey Friars in Leicester. Polydore Vergil states that the burial was “without any pompe or solemn funeral”. This is often – mistakenly – seen to indicate that there were no religious rites. However, as John Ashdown-Hill explains, “solemnity” in the religious context refers to certain aspects of a service, which were not essential. It basically means that the service was a private ceremony by the friars, especially as a choir of their church would not have been open to the public.

To the day 527 years later, on 25 August 2012, on the first day of the archaeological dig in Leicester to find out where the church of the Grey Friars actually had been and hopefully to find Richard’s remains, parts of a human leg bone were unearthed. These wre later identified as being part of the remains of Richard III.


John Ashdown Hill, The Last Days of Richard III. The History Press, 2010, pp.91-96

Mathew Morris & Richard Buckley, Richard III:  The King under the Car Park.  University of Leicester Archaeological Services, 2013, pp.22 + 36-45

Mike Pitts, Digging for Richard: How Archaeology Found the King. Thames & Hudson, 2014, pp.99-105

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11 AUGUST 1486

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Death of William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester

Source: ODNB on William Waynflete

We had a look at him some time ago in  ‘The “elder statesman of the educational revolution”’.

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‘Garden of Life’ – a Guest Post by Rosalind Broomhall

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

On Saturday, 5 July 2014, the new Cathdral Gardens in Leicester ‘Garden of Life’ were opened. We are very happy to be able to bring you a report by Rosalind Broomhall, a friend from Leicester, who was able to attend this event. Thank you also to Jo Mungovin for the photo.

Leicester Cathedral Gardens  (Jo Mungovin)

“How do you open a garden?” said Canon Pete “…you ring the bells!” And ring out they did yesterday as, after an anxious night of heavy rain, the sun shone down and Bishop Tim and Sir Peter Soulsby cut the ribbon and celebrations began. Young people from Curve Theatre danced between the newly refurbished statue (sword restored!) and the artwork ‘Towards Stillness’ that tells the story of Richard’s final days and the centuries lost until he was rediscovered that day in 2012. The air of celebration continued with songs from the Emmanuel Gospel Choir and a concert performance of ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat’ by the children of DioSing! Inside St Martin’s House, James Butler RA and Juliette Quintero spoke about their work and Dean Monteith posed the question of the relevance of the story of Richard III today. Outside people tried their hand at a drumming workshop and the All Saints dancing troup, young Asian Christians, expressed their faith through dance.

The race to complete the gardens – how many workmen can you get in one space? – had continued flat out all week but paid off magnificently as our new Cathedral Gardens were opened in style.

You can find the programme with further links here.

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   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Death of Thomas Barowe, loyal servant to Richard III.  In addition to long and distinguished career in the church, he was Richard’s Master of the Rolls from 22 September 1483 and Keeper of the Great Seal from approx. 1 August 1485.  The exact date of his death is not known, but his will was dated 23 June 1499 and proved on 10 July 1499.  In his will he remembers various other associates of Richard III.

In an indenture of 21 January 1495 to Great St Mary’s, Cambridge University church, he gave the enormous sum of £240 for building work at the church.  The indenture also included masses and prayers for Richard III and  Thomas Barowe himself.  Both were to be enrolled in the list of the benefactors of Cambridge University.  This shows a great deal of loyalty to his former patron, at a time when Barowe had made his peace with Henry VII and especially the king’s mother, Margaret Beaufort.

(Photograph of Great St Mary’s, Cambridge, by D Preis)

Further reading:

Christopher Brooke, ‘Urban church and university church:  Great St Mary’s from its origins to 1523′, in:  John Binns & Peter Meadows, Great St Mary’s, Cambridge University’s Church, Cambridge, 2000, pp.7-24.  ISBN 0521775027

A. F. Sutton and L. Visser-Fuchs, ‘’As dear to him as the Trojans were to Hector:’ Richard III and the University of Cambridge’, in:  L. Visser-Fuchs, ed, Richard III and East Anglia:  Magnates, Gilds and Learned Men.  Richard III Society, 2010, pp.105-142, in particular pp.130-134.

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3 JUNE 1162

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Thomas Becket consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury.