Day 4 – Lancaster City Hall and York

Before I tell you all about our morning with the Mayor at City Hall and our stay in York, I want to offer you some photos from the priory since the video provides a great history lesson but it doesn’t show much of the Priory itself or the grounds.  I have also thrown in some photos I took from atop the tower.  I was the only one who had the opportunity to go up there.  It pays that my host Alice is one of the vergers…shhh don’t tell Fr. Chris.

IMG_5631

The bell/clock tower and main entrance into the Priory.

IMG_5695

The inner workings of the clock.

IMG_5696

A look out over the city and beyond…I am assuming that I was facing east or east-ish given the sun.

IMG_5697

Another view out and visible is the tidal river Lune from which Lancaster derives its name.

IMG_5698

Just peeping over the castle walls and into the grounds, not much happening that early in the morning.

IMG_5699IMG_5700

IMG_5701

A view west and way out there is the Irish Sea.

IMG_5632

Closer look at the front door.

IMG_5630

The outside wall…if you notice all the blackened stones, it is not fire damage, but is a result of all the soot from the factories and mills located in Lancaster during that allowed the city to grow economically.

IMG_5622

The royal coat of arms hanging above the in the loft by the organ pipes.

IMG_5623

The pulpit.

IMG_5624

The lectern with a lovely icon depicting three different scenes.

IMG_5625

The quire stalls, which as Fr. Chris mentioned are from the 13th Century and some of the best preserved in the entire country.

IMG_5628

The sanctuary.

IMG_5627

A closer look at the altar.

IMG_5629

A look out at the congregation from the sanctuary.

IMG_5633

The side chapel dedicated to Thomas a Becket who is depicted in the stain glass.

IMG_5634

A brief history of the Priory up to 1745.

IMG_5668

Fr. David presenting to Fr. Chris a framed photo of Saint James at the end of Sunday’s Festal Evensong.

IMG_5672

We also gave them a set of our history books, though I apparently only brought two volumes and forgot the third…we can ship one to them when we get back.

IMG_5687

A warm embrace of mutual love and affection as we planted the seeds of what I hope will become a long-lasting partnership of prayer, worship, and mission as we seek to transform our cities and bring the Good News of God in Christ to all.

IMG_5714

A final picture with the pilgrims and our hosts.  They were so amazing.  I hope we get the opportunity to repay their kindness and generosity by hosting them if they decide to visit our Lancaster.

(A little sample of the organ using the trumpet stops that were installed specifically for the Queen’s visit in order to play the appropriate fanfare.)

Now that I got that out the way we can move on to what we did on Monday, which was a great day of exploring the intersections of faith and civic life.

After we said goodbye to our wonderful hosts we began our walk towards the center of town and City Hall. We made our way down the hill following along the old Roman road that cut through the heart of the city.  I tried to soak it all in as we walked because who knows when I might be back.

Before we knew it we were in Dalton Square which is the center of town and is across the street from City Hall.  In the center of the square is a large statue of Queen Victoria and along the base are reliefs dedicated to famous men and women of politics, science, the arts, and…I forget the last one.

IMG_5720

A view of the square and statue from the steps of City Hall.

IMG_5661

A closer look at the statue.

IMG_5660

The men of science.

IMG_5659

I think this is the politics side…I think. I don’t recognize any of the names.

IMG_5721

IMG_5722

One of the many crests and symbols found around the grounds. This is the fleur-de-lis and the lion.

IMG_5723

The Lancaster Rose.

 

After walking around the side of City Hall we were greeted by Mike the Beadle.  Now he is not claiming to be the long-lost fifth member of the Beatles, but it is his official title.  The job of a beadle was in a religious setting and the beadle would wake people up who might have nodded off during a particularly boring sermon.  But now it has evolved into both a ceremonial and a very practical role.  Ceremonially, the beadle is the Mayor’s bodyguard in that during official civic occasions the beadle will carry a ceremonial mace and walk in front of the Mayor.  In bygone years the mace was actually used to help protect the Mayor, and he would use the mace if necessary.  But now he is the Mayor’s right-hand man, so to speak.  In their form of government the Mayor is largely a ceremonial job who serves a one year term and is chosen from among the most longest-serving council members.  Since there is a new Mayor every year Mike helps each new Mayor with the ins and outs of the job, hopefully avoiding any embarrassing faux-pas.  Mike led us into City Hall and up the Mayor’s Palour where the Mayor greets guests.

IMG_5725

Mike the Beadle.

IMG_5726

The staircase leading up to the rooms and offices of City Hall.

IMG_5730

One of the stained glass windows.

IMG_5731

A quilted gift from some people who came from an Amish community in our Lancaster.

IMG_5736

The ceremonial mace.

IMG_5742

Fr. David and His Worshipful, Mayor Robert Redfern.

IMG_5743

Some collectables from the London Olympics.

IMG_5744

Silverware collection.

IMG_5745

A ceremonial pike.

IMG_5747

Mike showing us the proper way to carry his ceremonial mace.

IMG_5750

A closer look at the mace.

IMG_5752

Bob Mosebach giving it a try.

IMG_5760

I think Paul Ware might give MIke some competition for his job.

IMG_5761

Roberta Strickler giving it a whirl.

IMG_5762

Jim Stewart looks pretty official.

IMG_5765

Even Fr. David giving it a try.

IMG_5766

The pilgrims having some tea and coffee in the parlour.

IMG_5768

Kathi Sabino talking with the Mayor.

 

After having some time with the Mayor and presenting him with a few gifts we all went into the city council chambers.  Along all the walls are listed the all the Mayors of Lancaster dating back to the early 1800’s…that is when they started keeping track in that way.  It was a beautiful room that unfortunately isn’t used as a council chamber anymore because the council has grown too large as the city grew from being a town.

IMG_5776

IMG_5778

Inside the old council chamber.  The current city council is too large in membership to meet in this space anymore so they meet in Morecambe.

IMG_5780

Fr. David looking rather imposing, with a smile, while sitting in the Mayor’s seat.

IMG_5788

Bob Mosebach also looks rather official and quite comfortable as well.  Look out Mayor Redfern we just might have to start calling Bob his Worshipfulness.

IMG_5784

A group photo with the Mayor.

 

We then went into a great hall that is used for all sorts of occasions and is just absolutely beautiful.

IMG_5790

A hall that is used for a variety of functions including civic occasions and even weddings and community dances.

IMG_5791

IMG_5795

Along the ceiling are the coats of arms for the different ruling families.

After the great hall we went down to a small courtroom that was used for minor offenses.

IMG_5799

Fr. Chris sitting in the defendants chair in the small courtroom in City Hall that is no longer used. Looks kind of like a hockey penalty box.

IMG_5801

Here is Judy Ware walking a set of stairs in the defendants area that leads down to the jail cells below the courtroom.

IMG_5802

The gate leading to the cells.

IMG_5804

Paul Ware and Mike discussing the fine accommodations of the cells.

IMG_5803

This cell is en suite…which I learned is European for a toilet in the room.

IMG_5805

A few of our parishioners catching a ride back up the hill with Mike in the Mayor’s car…how posh.

 All in all it was an excellent experience spending time with the Mayor and Mike the Beadle.  We learned a lot about the ways in which the two worlds of faith and civic leadership intersect in Lancaster.  While a few parishioners caught a ride in the mayor’s car the rest of us walked back up to the Priory to say our final farewells to Chris and boarded the coach to begin out journey to York.

The ride to York was beautiful as we traversed the northern English countryside from west to east passing through the Yorkshire Dales, which was filled with rolling hills, pastures upon pastures of sheep, tight winding roads, and green fields as far as the eye could see.

(I’m not quite sure what that noise is in the background but its the view that matters most.)

We were delayed leaving Lancaster and therefore arrived in York with only enough time to walk to Yorkminster for evensong.  Because there is an annual production that is large in nature the minster was effectively closed to the public and there was not much to see as crews worked to bring down the staging and scaffolding, so it was really only open to those wishing to attend the service.  We made in the nick of time and even managed to grab a few shots from inside the minster.  Hopefully I will be back before too long and be able to really take in the beauty and grandeur of this historic church.

IMG_5811

A local shop on the walk to Yorkminster and what’s wrong with a Storm Trooper is taking his pet AT-AT for a walk?

IMG_5812

One of the gates leading into the walled section of the city.

IMG_5813

The streets were lined with shops and for me it has a bit of Diagon Alley feel.

IMG_5814

Yorkminster emerging from the densely packed streets.

IMG_5815

The grounds around the minster.

IMG_5817

The Yorkminster tower.

IMG_5818

The pilgrims at Evensong.

IMG_5821

The high altar.

IMG_5823

The organ.

IMG_5824

The Rose Window.

IMG_5826

Some guys in statue form with some serious hair action going on and vacant expressions.

IMG_5827

Some guy lying in repose.

IMG_5829

Some guy on a cross…no, wait a minute, that’s Jesus…what a beautiful crucifix.

IMG_5830

One of the entrances into the minster with a verger keeping an eye on us so that we don’t try to sneak back in for more photos.

IMG_5831

Walking back to the coach.

IMG_5832

These window boxes might be more grand than our rectory’s.

IMG_5833

Such different styles of architecture throughout the city of York to enjoy, even in a sudden downpour.

Once we were finished with evensong and were back on the coach we made our way to the hotel for the night, which proved to be a really nice hotel and a great place to rest up for our journey south to London.

I wonder what adventures await us there?

One thought on “Day 4 – Lancaster City Hall and York

  1. Spent Christmas Eve at Nine Lessons and Carols in York Minster. The dudes with the serious hair action.are the Kings of England.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s