About this blog

This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.

Friday 29 April 2011

Week 17--A Trip to Lincoln

I have always wanted to visit Lincoln ever since moving to Lichfield. This is because people seldom have a clue where Lichfield is, and occasionally ask if it's in Lincoln. To be honest, you could probably fit Lichfield cathedral inside Lincoln cathedral--it's a monster. Lichfield cathedral would make a nice lawn ornament somewhere in its grounds.

As you can see from the pictures, we managed to hit upon the one cold day in the last fortnight. I overheard a couple in a teashop complaining about the weather in that typically English way (that prompts Aussies to call us whinging poms), as if it was outrageous and somebody jolly well ought to do something about it. Still, Lincoln is the kind of place that looks stunning in all weathers. It has escaped the worst ravages of 60s and 70s town planning. Possibly only Durham rivals it for drama. But I would think that. I was in Durham at an impressionable age. Like Durham cathedral, Lincoln's stands on a hill. A steep hill. In fact, the name of the main street leading up to it is boldly called 'Steep Hill'. Very good for stretching out your calf muscles after a long run I should think.

I have to admit that when it came to visiting the cathedral I had a barrier to overcome: I really object to entrance charges. I am well aware of the huge cost involved in the day-to-day running of cathedrals--everything from propping up the crumbling medieval stonework to paying the choir. I'd have to be comatose not to be aware of it, frankly, living where I do. And unlike their counterparts on the continent, English cathedrals do not receive any state funding. Lichfield is still hanging on to its free entry policy. (All very well for us, with our pocket size cathedral.) Once you start charging for admission, it's very difficult to stop doing so without a drop in revenue.

But if you are going to charge, then Lincoln seem to have adopted a good strategy. You can enter the magnificent build and go Wow! You can also go and pray in one of the chapels without paying. You can join an act of worship for free. If you do want to pay for the whole experience, you'll find that you've been issued with an annual pass. And anyway (when you've stopped being grumpy), it's money well spent. I particularly enjoyed the two rose windows at the ends of the north and south transepts. One's called 'the Bishop's Eye', the other 'the Dean's Eye'. Intriguingly, the Dean's Eye is higher than the Bishop's.

So there you are. Lincoln: a cracking good day out.

No comments:

Post a Comment