Friday, February 03, 2017

A Candle Mass Pilgrimage

When she died in 1507, Agnes Parker owed a pilgrimage to St. Tebbald (St.Theobald) at Hobbies. In same year Thomas Wood of Coltishale left a legacies to the Guild of the Virgin at the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary at Hautbois and to paint the new tabernacle of St. Theobald in the Church. Thomas and Agnes were going to be my Simeon and Anna.

Riding through Coltishall and past the Guides, Patterson Lodge Activity Centre,  I chained my bike to the fence and walked down the track to the ruined church.  To the right is the Golden Gates Pond where generation of village kids have grappled - without success - for the said, golden gates. I often wonder if the gates in question were from the tabernacle of St.Theobald and deposited there after the shrines were suppressed by Henry VIII in 1538.

Candlemas Bells - Snowdrops - are sprinkled around the churchyard.
Woodpeckers drum, Buzzards call overhead and  Anna's warning echoes in my ears -"a sword shall piece  your soul". How bitter were those days! And for all the silver (sanctus) bells, (pilgrims')  cockle shells and Pretty maids (nuns) of Queen Mary's reign there was no going back . Only forward!

In spite of it all, the faith was passed on, 'else why would I be here saying the Angelus, thinking of past generations who passed the faith to me and the generations to come, whose pattern of Christian devotion might be completely different from mine. Whatever! There's no going back! Only Forward!

Before I returned to my trusty bike, I spent a moment by the grave of the Miss Pattersons -  the house that is now the Guides Activity Centre was their bequest. I have stood there often, but today I read the scripture verse beneath Phillipa's details for the first timr. They are from the Song of Simeon,  "For my eyes have seen thy salvation"

Agnes, Thomas, Charity and Phillipa:
May they rest in peace
and rise in glory.

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