Vaulted sanctuary perfect for choral voices
We enjoyed the Evensong choral music so much yesterday that we got up early enough today to attend the 9:30 Choral Matins
. Yesterday after Evensong
when we asked the priest who was closing up the Cathedral yard about the five Sunday Services, he thought that because this is a “high” day, St. Matthew day, the Cathedral would be full. It wasn’t. We sat fairly close to the altar and really enjoyed the singing. So much so that we also went to the Sung Eucharist
at 11:00, after a spell outside in the sun to warm up. The Cathedral is probably always chilly.
The Sung Eucharist featured the men’s choir and the girls’ choir. The girls were dressed in long red coats, with their hair pulled back. Again the sound of their singing gained complexity through the reverberations from the architectural shapes. The priests’ chanting also soared in a deeper richness. The sermon was given by the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles
. When introduced he was described as “passionate”; he put a great deal of passion into his theme of St. Matthew moving from exclusion as a tax collector for the Romans to inclusion as a disciple, drawing forth the current need for a more inclusive Christian life. I wondered
Jane Austen's house
A shrine to fans, a home to a private family
if he were really addressing the current heated controversy in the Anglican Church about the ordination of women and homosexuals. The Bishop of Basingstoke
was the guest priest at the Choral Matins and he also spoke about St. Matthew, but he chose to speak about the moment of personal transformation when Matthew said “yes” to Jesus and left his former life in an instant. He referred to the painting by Caravaggio
, which I must look at again.
Leaving the Cathedral about 12:30, we crossed the forecourt and the war-memorial square, then through the entry to the Cathedral shop to arrive at the café. We found a table in the sun and enjoyed sandwiches for lunch. With a couple of hours before Evensong at 3:30, we retraced some of our afternoon walking tour of yesterday, taking pictures. At Jane Austen’s house (now a private residence), we were able to ask a fellow to take our picture after he did so for a woman in his party. Then we strolled along the river walk to an old mill. It is a National Trust property (costly entry fee), so we only looked at the shop. Then back to the Cathedral for more singing –
Winchester Guild Hall
An imposing site of City government
preceded by more picture-taking, this time of the entire front of the Cathedral. Following the Evensong we looked through the gift shop, buying only a few post cards as photos, and a few things for the JASNA Calgary bazaar in January.
For an “early night” we returned to our B & B for a short while, then walked to the Roebuck, the pub nearest our hotel. Although they advertised roasts on their outdoor sign, the barman was baffled why we thought roast was still available. Roasts are for “Sunday lunch” in Britain. We were almost the only people there and settled for nice fish and chips with a microscopic amount of bright green “mushy peas”. Beer for me and Shandy for Deirdre.
of Itchen River and Old Mill.
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