Dead and deader: cathedrals, churches and graveyards
For a non-Christian, I have am weirdly drawn to cathedrals. When I visited England in 1991, I spent much of my time visiting cathedrals. This trip had a bit of everything, but we managed to see several churches, chapels, abbeys, cathedrals, and their ubiquitous cemeteries.
On our first full day in London we walked past St. Paul’s with the intent of going back; we never made it but both of us had been there before. It’s still very photogenic (especially when compared to the images from World War II when it was nearly destroyed during the Blitz).
My grandmother was born in Whitby, and it’s one of my favorite towns in England. The ruin of the seventh century abbey is haunting, and the church graveyard offers the best views of the city, harbor and sea. Plus, this is where Dracula hung out when he arrived in England, a fictional “fact” that’s part of its tourist appeal.
It rained our first day in Edinburgh, so we ducked into St. Cuthbert’s Church. A sweet, elderly docent named, of all things, Mary Stewart, graciously showed us around.
A tiny chapel on the grounds of Edinburgh Castle, St. Margaret’s, is a quiet spot to meditate, with a beautiful altar cloth.
Edinburgh’s best-known cathedral is St. Giles, at the foot of the Royal Mile.
According to Rick Steves, the statue of John Knox is moved around the cathedral like a large chess piece.
Gary thought this guy looked like a character in a Roz Chast cartoon:
Newmarket: St. Mary’s, where I was christened, and thought I was Catholic until I was seven or eight.
Back in London, we skipped Westminster Abbey, having seen it before. A walk on the South Bank of the Thames took us past Southwark Cathedral.
A rainy day lunch in the busy, warm and crowded crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Fields wrapped up our British “church” experience.