Thursday, 5 December 2013

Salisbury Cathedral - 4

There are some lovely houses in the Cathedral Close - here is one at the south gate.

Salisbury cathedral, a cathedral of the old foundation, has been served by priests living a secular life and not by any monastic order. When the cathedral, the Close and the city were planned the canons were each allocated an acre and a half of ground within the Liberty of the Close on which to build their houses. Whilst all members of the Chapter are equal there were a number who were considered more equal than others. These were the "personae"; the Dean, Precentor, Chancellor, Treasurer and the Archdeacons, who were each granted a double allocation of three acres. For this reason one finds the larger houses on the West Walk of the close backing on to the River Avon. Originally the houses were occupied by canons of the cathedral , chantry priests , vicars and lay persons connected with the cathedral. Today only five members of Chapter are resident in the Close and the other properties are mainly held on lease from the Dean and Chapter by private residents.

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy,
be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

I remember with thanksgiving my father Ronnie Simpson who died on 5 December 1961 at the age of 44. I was 8 at the time and showed great spirituality even at that tender age. When my mother came to my Primary School to tell me the news I said 'Oh dear! Will we still be able to have a turkey for Christmas?'. No comments, please! I ask for his prayers in heaven.

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