Friday, March 1, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Choir, Jeremiah 17:5-12, Psalms 1:1-6, Luke 16:19-31, St Oswald, Worcestershire England, Worcester Cathedral, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 The Creeds Chapter 3:1 The Joint Mission of the Son and the Spirit

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Choir, Jeremiah 17:5-12, Psalms 1:1-6, Luke 16:19-31, St Oswald, Worcestershire England, Worcester Cathedral, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 The Creeds Chapter 3:1 The Joint Mission of the Son and the Spirit

Good Day Bloggers!  Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012

Heed the Solemnity of Lent! This Lent instead of "Giving up" something, why not "Give of" oneself by volunteering time to a worthy cause, or extending a simple act of kindness! This blog is an act of giving, simply "opening a door" to all to learn about God, the history and cultures of humanity, the geography of our biosphere, the catechism of the Catholic Church and more; its you choice of "free will" to walk through this blog with an open mind, to learn, to evaluate, to contemplate,.  Start by familiarizing yourself with the Beatitudes, they are universal to all mankind, of which one is the gift of knowledge, utilize.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’(Matthew 25:34-40)


Prayers for Today: Thursday in Lent


 Prayer For the Holy Election of Our New Pope

Sadly Pope Benedict XVI has announced his retirement on the Feast Day of our Lady of Lourdes. We must pray together for Pope Benedict XVI retirement and our New Pope, yet to be elected, as well as all of Gods Shepherds.

May the Lord preserve the sanctity of the enclave as they embark on electing our new Holy Father, give him life, and make him blessed upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, in Thy mercy look down upon Thy servant, (Our New Pope), whom Thou will appoint to preside over Thy Church, and grant we beseech Thee that both by word and example he may edify those who are under his charge; so that, with the flock entrusted to him, he may attain life everlasting. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


February 25, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
“Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. Sin is pulling you towards worldly things and I have come to lead you towards holiness and the things of God, but you are struggling and spending your energies in the battle with the good and the evil that are in you. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray until prayer becomes a joy for you and your life will become a simple walk towards God. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

 February 2, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
"Dear children, love is bringing me to you - the love which I desire to teach you also - real love; the love which my Son showed you when He died on the Cross out of love for you; the love which is always ready to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. How great is your love? My motherly heart is sorrowful as it searches for love in your hearts. You are not ready to submit your will to God's will out of love. You cannot help me to have those who have not come to know God's love to come to know it, because you do not have real love. Consecrate your hearts to me and I will lead you. I will teach you to forgive, to love your enemies and to live according to my Son. Do not be afraid for yourselves. In afflictions my Son does not forget those who love. I will be beside you. I will implore the Heavenly Father for the light of eternal truth and love to illuminate you. Pray for your shepherds so that through your fasting and prayer they can lead you in love. Thank you."



Today's Word:  choir   choir  [kwahyuhr]

Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English quer  < Old French cuer  < Latin chorus chorus; replacing Old English chor  choir < Latin

1. a company of singers, especially an organized group employed in church service.
2. any group of musicians or musical instruments; a musical company, or band, or a division of one: string choir.
3. Architecture .

a. the part of a church occupied by the singers of the choir.
b. the part of a cruciform church east of the crossing.
4. (in medieval angelology) one of the orders of angels.
5. professed to recite or chant the divine office: a choir monk.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
6. to sing or sound in chorus.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 1:1-6

1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked and does not take a stand in the path that sinners tread, nor a seat in company with cynics,
2 but who delights in the law of Yahweh and murmurs his law day and night.
3 Such a one is like a tree planted near streams; it bears fruit in season and its leaves never wither, and every project succeeds.
4 How different the wicked, how different! Just like chaff blown around by the wind
5 the wicked will not stand firm at the Judgement nor sinners in the gathering of the upright.
6 For Yahweh watches over the path of the upright, but the path of the wicked is doomed.


Today's Epistle -  Jeremiah 17:5-12

5 Yahweh says this, 'Accursed be anyone who trusts in human beings, who relies on human strength and whose heart turns from Yahweh.
6 Such a person is like scrub in the wastelands: when good comes, it does not affect him since he lives in the parched places of the desert, uninhabited, salt land.
7 'Blessed is anyone who trusts in Yahweh, with Yahweh to rely on.
8 Such a person is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream: when the heat comes it has nothing to fear, its foliage stays green; untroubled in a year of drought, it never stops bearing fruit.
9 'The heart is more devious than any other thing, and is depraved; who can pierce its secrets?
10 I, Yahweh, search the heart, test the motives, to give each person what his conduct and his actions deserve.
11 'The partridge will hatch eggs it has not laid. No different is the person who gets riches unjustly: his days half done, they will desert him and he prove a fool after all.'
12 A glorious throne, sublime from the beginning, such is our Holy Place.


Today's Gospel Reading Luke 16:19-31

'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there used to lie a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with what fell from the rich man's table. Even dogs came and licked his sores. Now it happened that the poor man died and was carried away by the angels into Abraham's embrace. The rich man also died and was buried. 'In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his embrace. So he cried out, "Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames." Abraham said, "My son, remember that during your life you had your fill of good things, just as Lazarus his fill of bad. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to prevent those who want to cross from our side to yours or from your side to ours." 'So he said, "Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father's house, since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too." Abraham said, "They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them." The rich man replied, "Ah no, father Abraham, but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent." Then Abraham said to him, "If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead."
• Every time that Jesus has something important to communicate, he creates a story and tells a parable. In this way, through the reflection on an invisible reality, he leads those who listen to him to discover the invisible call of God, who is present in life. A parable is made to make us think and reflect. For this reason it is important to pay attention even to the smallest details. In the parable in today’s Gospel there are three persons. The poor Lazarus, the rich man without a name and Father Abraham. In the parable, Abraham represents the thought of God. The rich man without a name represents the dominating ideology of that time. Lazarus represents the silent cry of the poor of the time of Jesus and of all times.

• Luke 16, 19-21: The situation of the rich man and the poor man. The two extremes of society. On the one side, aggressive richness, on the other the poor man without resources, without rights, covered with wounds, without anybody to accept him, to receive him, except the dogs which came to lick his wounds. What separates both of them is the closed door of the house of the rich man. On the part of the rich man, there is no acceptance nor pity concerning the problem of the poor man at his door. But the poor man has a name and the rich man does not. That is, the poor man has his name written in the book of life, not the rich one. The poor man’s name is Lazarus. It means God helps. And through the poor man, God helps the rich man who could have a name in the book of life. But the rich man does not accept to be helped by the poor man, because he keeps his door closed. This beginning of the parable which describes the situation, is a faithful mirror of what was happening during the time of Jesus and the time of Luke. It is the mirror of everything which is happening today in the world!

• Luke 16, 22: The change which reveals the hidden truth. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s embrace. The rich man also died and was buried. In the parable the poor man dies before the rich one. This is an advertisement for the rich. Up to the time when the poor man is alive and is at the door, there is still the possibility of salvation for the rich man. But after the poor man dies, the only instrument of salvation for the rich man also dies. Now, the poor man is in Abraham’s embrace. The embrace of Abraham is the source of life, from where the People of God is born, Lazarus, the poor man, forms part of the People of Abraham, from which he was excluded, when he was before the door of the rich man. The rich man who believes that he is a son of Abraham does not go toward the embrace of Abraham! The introduction of the parable ends here. Now its significance begins to be revealed, through the three conversations between the rich man and Father Abraham.

• Luke 16, 23-26: The first conversation. In the parable, Jesus opens a window on the other side of life, the side of God. It is not a question of Heaven. It is a question of life which only faith generates and which the rich man who has no faith cannot perceive. It is only in the light of death that the ideology of the empire disintegrates and appears for him what the true value of life is. On the part of God, without the deceiving propaganda of the ideology, things change. The rich man sees Lazarus in the embrace of Abraham and asks to be helped in his suffering. The rich man discovers that Lazarus is his only possible benefactor. But now, it is too late! The rich man without a name is pious, because he recognizes Abraham and calls him Father Abraham responds and calls him son. In reality this word of Abraham is addressed to all the rich who are alive. In so far as they are alive, they have the possibility to become sons and daughters of Abraham, if they know how to open the door to Lazarus, the poor man, the only one who in God’s name can help them. Salvation for the rich man does not consist in Lazarus giving him a drop of fresh water to refresh his tongue, but rather, that he, the rich man, open the closed door to the poor man so as fill the great abyss that exists.

• Luke 16, 27-29: The second conversation. The rich man insists: “Then, Father, I beg you to send Lazarus to my father’s house, because I have five brothers!” The rich man does not want his brothers to end in the same place of suffering. Lazarus, the poor man, is the only true intermediary between God and the rich. He is the only one, because it is only to the poor that the rich have to return what they had and, thus, re-establish the justice which has been damaged! The rich man is worried for his brothers, but was never concerned about the poor! Abraham’s response is clear: “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them!” They have the Bible! The rich man had the Bible. He knew it by heart. But he was never aware of the fact that the Bible had something to do with the poor. The key which the rich man has in order to be able to understand the Bible is the poor man sitting at his door!

• Luke 16, 30-31: The third conversation. “No, Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent!” The rich man recognizes that he is wrong, he has committed an error, because he speaks of repenting, something which he never heard during his life. He wants a miracle, a resurrection! But this type of resurrection does not exist. The only resurrection is that of Jesus. Jesus, risen from the dead comes to us in the person of the poor, of those who have no rights, of those who have no land, of those who have no food, of those who have no house, of those who have no health. In his final response, Abraham is clear and convincing, forceful: “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead!” The conversation ends this way! This is the end of the parable!

• The key to understand the sense of the Bible is the poor Lazarus, sitting before the door! God presents himself in the person of the poor, sitting at our door, to help us cover the enormous abyss which the rich have created. Lazarus is also Jesus, the poor and servant Messiah, who was not accepted, but whose death changed all things radically. And everything changes in the light of the death of the poor. The place of torment, of torture is the situation of the person without God. Even if the rich man thinks that he has religion and faith, in fact, he is not with God because he does not open the door to the poor, as Zacchaeus did. (Lk 19, 1-10).
Personal questions
• How do we treat the poor? Do they have a name for us? In the attitude that I have before them, am I like Lazarus or like the rich man?
• When the poor enter in contact with us, do they perceive something different? Do they perceive the Good News? And I, to which side do I tend, toward the miracle or toward God’s Word?
Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Oswald of Worcester

Feast DayFebruary 28

Patron Saint: Archbishop of York


St Oswald of Worcester
Oswald of Worcester (died 29 February 992) was Archbishop of York from 972 to his death in 992. He was of Danish ancestry, but brought up by his uncle, Oda, who sent him to France to the abbey of Fleury to become a monk. After a number of years at Fleury, Oswald returned to England at the request of his uncle, who died before Oswald returned. With his uncle's death, Oswald needed a patron and turned to another kinsman, Oskytel, who had recently become Archbishop of York. His activity for Oskytel attracted the notice of Archbishop Dunstan who had Oswald consecrated as Bishop of Worcester in 961. In 972 Oswald was promoted to the see of York, although he continued to hold Worcester also.

As bishop and archbishop, Oswald was a supporter and one of the leading promoters (together with Æthelwold) of Dunstan's reforms of the church, including monastic reforms.[1] Oswald founded a number of monasteries, including Ramsey Abbey, and reformed other seven, including Winchcombe in Gloucestershire and Pershore and Evesham in Worcestershire. Oswald also switched the cathedral chapter of Worcester from secular clergy to monks. While archbishop, he brought the scholar Abbo of Fleury to teach, and he spent two years in England, mostly at Ramsey. Oswald died in 992, while washing the feet of the poor. A hagiographical life was written shortly after his death, and he was quickly hailed as a saint.

Early life

Oswald, of Danish parentage, was brought up by his uncle Oda, Archbishop of Canterbury, and was also related to Oskytel, later Archbishop of York.[2] He was also related to the cniht Osulf, who received land while Oswald was bishop of Worcester.[3] Oswald was instructed by a Frankish scholar Frithegod.[4] He held the office of dean of Winchester, but he was sent by his uncle to France and entered the monastery of Fleury about 950,[2] where he was ordained in 959. While at Fleury he met Osgar of Abingdon and Germanus of Winchester.[2] The influence of Fleury was to be evident later in Oswald's life, when it was one of the inspirations for the Regularis Concordia, the English code of monastic conduct agreed to in 970.[5]

Return to England

Oswald returned to England in 958 at the behest of his uncle, but Oda died before Oswald returned. Lacking a patron, Oswald turned to Oskytel, recently named Archbishop of York. It is possible that Oswald along with Oskytel traveled to Rome for Oskytel's pallium, but this story is only contained in a 12th century Ramsey Abbey chronicle, so it may not be authentic.[4] Even if he did not travel to Rome, Oswald was active in ecclesiastical affairs at York until Dunstan obtained Oswald's appointment to the see, or bishopric, of Worcester.[2] He was consecrated as Bishop of Worcester in 961.[6] Soon after his consecration, he persuaded Germanus to come back to England and made him head of a small religious community near Westbury-on-Trym.[2] After the establishment of this group about 962, Oswald grew worried that because the monastery was located on lands owned by the see of Worcester, his successors in the see might disrupt the community. He was offered the site of Ramsey Abbey in Huntingdonshire by Æthelwine, son of Æthelstan Half-King, and Oswald established a monastery there about 971 that attracted most of the members of the community at Westbury. This foundation at Ramsey went on to become Ramsey Abbey.[7] Ramsey was Oswald's most famous foundation,[8] with its church dedicated in 974. Later, Oswald invited Abbo of Fleury to come and teach at Ramsey.[9] Oswald directed the affairs of Ramsey Abbey until his death, when the dean Eadnoth became the first abbot.[4] He gave a magnificent Bible to Ramsey, which was important enough to merit a mention in Oswald's Life.[10] Alongside the gift of the book, Oswald also contributed wall hangings and other textiles to the abbey.[11]

A medieval manuscript of Abbo of Fleury's work
Oswald supported Dunstan and Æthelwold, Bishop of Winchester, in their efforts to purify the Church from secularism. Aided by King Edgar, he took a prominent part in the revival of monastic discipline along the precepts of the Rule of Saint Benedict. His methods differed from Æthelwold's, who often violently ejected secular clergy from churches and replaced them with monks.[12] Oswald also organized the estates of his see into administrative hundreds known as the Oswaldslow, which helped stabilize the ecclesiastical revenues.[9] He constantly visited the monasteries he founded, and was long remembered as father of his people both as bishop and archbishop.[12] It was Oswald who changed the cathedral chapter of Worcester from priests to monks,[13] although the exact method that he employed is unclear. One tradition says that Oswald used a slow approach in building up a new church of monks next to the cathedral, allowing the cathedral's priests to continue performing services in the cathedral until the monastic foundation was strong enough to take over the cathedral.[8] Another tradition claims that, instead, Oswald expelled any of the clergy in the cathedral that would not give up their wives and replaced them with monks immediately. Oswald also reformed Winchcombe Abbey, along with the monasteries of Westbury Priory, Pershore Abbey, and Evesham Abbey. It is also possible that monasteries were established in Gloucester and Deerhurst, but evidence is lacking for their exact foundation dates.[4]

Archbishop of York

In 972 Oswald was made Archbishop of York[6] and journeyed to Rome to receive a pallium from Pope John XIII. It is possible that he also traveled on Edgar's behalf to the court of the Emperor Otto I, and that these two journeys had been combined.[4][14] He continued to hold the see of Worcester in addition to York.[6] The holding of Worcester in addition to York became traditional for almost the next fifty years. Although it was uncanonical, it had many advantages for York in that it added a much richer diocese to their holdings, and one which was more peaceful as well.[15] When Edgar died in 975, Ælfhere, Ealdorman of Mercia, broke up many monastic communities, some of which were Oswald's foundations.[16] Ramsey, however, was not disturbed, probably due to the patronage of Æthelwine, Ealdorman of East Anglia, son of Æthelstan Half-King. Ælfhere was a supporter of Ethelred the Unready, the son of Edgar's third marriage, while Oswald supported the son of Edgar's first marriage, Edward the Martyr,[4] in the dispute over who would succeed King Edgar.[17]

In 985, Oswald invited Abbo of Fleury to come to Ramsey to help found the monastic school there. Abbo was at Ramsey from 985 to 987, where he taught computus, or the methods for calculating Easter. It was also often used in trying to calculate the date of the Last Judgment.[18] A surviving manuscript gives a list compiled by Oswald, setting forth estates that had been taken from the diocese of York.[19]

Death and sainthood

Oswald died on 29 February 992 in the act of washing the feet of the poor at Worcester,[12] as was his daily custom during Lent, and was buried in the Church of Saint Mary at Worcester. He promoted the education of the clergy and persuaded scholars to come from Fleury and teach in England.[16] A Life of Oswald was written after his death, probably by Byrhtferth, a monk of Ramsey Abbey.[20] Two manuscripts, a psalter (Harley MS 2904 in the British Library) and a pontifical (MS 100, part 2 from Sidney Sussex College of Cambridge University), probably belonged to Oswald and would have been used in his daily devotions.[4]
Almost immediately after his death miracles were reported at his funeral and at his tomb. His remains were translated to a different burial spot in the cathedral ten years after his death. His feast day is celebrated on 28 February.[21]

Primary sources

There is a Vita sancti Oswaldi auctore anonymo (Anonymous Life of Saint Oswald), written soon after Oswald's death (probably by Byrhtferth) that did much to spread his cult throughout England. Later, Eadmer wrote Vita sancti Oswaldi (Life of Saint Oswald) and Miracula sancti Oswaldi (Miracles of Saint Oswald) at the request of the chapter of Worcester. There is also a life written by Senatus, prior of Worcester, and important biographical information in the Historia Rameseiensis.


  1. ^ Lawrence Medieval Monasticism p. 101
  2. ^ a b c d e Knowles The Monastic Order in England p. 40
  3. ^ Richardson The Governance of Mediaeval England p. 57
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Brooks "Oswald (St Oswald) (d. 992)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  5. ^ Lawrence Medieval Monasticism pp. 102–103
  6. ^ a b c Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 224
  7. ^ Knowles The Monastic Order in England p. 51
  8. ^ a b Stenton Anglo Saxon England p. 450
  9. ^ a b Knowles The Monastic Order in England p. 488
  10. ^ Dodwell Anglo-Saxon Art p. 95
  11. ^ Dodwell Anglo-Saxon Art p. 129
  12. ^ a b c Knowles The Monastic Order in England p. 55
  13. ^ Knowles The Monastic Order in England p. 621
  14. ^ Byrhtferth's Life only mentions the journey of an abbot and thegn (miles) to the German court, Historians of the Church of York I, p. 435.
  15. ^ Stenton Anglo Saxon England 3rd ed. p. 436
  16. ^ a b Knowles The Monastic Order in England p. 53
  17. ^ Williams Æthelred the Unready p. 9
  18. ^ Fletcher Bloodfeud p. 92
  19. ^ Wormald Making of English Law p. 186
  20. ^ Knowles The Monastic Order in England p. 494
  21. ^ Walsh A New Dictionary of Saints p. 459


      • Brooks, N. P. (2004). "Oswald (St Oswald) (d. 992)" ((subscription or UK public library membership required)). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
      • Dodwell, C. R. (1985). Anglo-Saxon Art: A New Perspective (Cornell University Press 1985 ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9300-5.
      • Fletcher, R. A. (2003). Bloodfeud: Murder and Revenge in Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516136-X.
      • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
      • Knowles, David (1976). The Monastic Order in England: A History of its Development from the Times of St. Dunstan to the Fourth Lateran Council, 940–1216 (Second reprint ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-05479-6.
      • Lawrence, C. H. (2001). Medieval Monasticism: Forms of Religious Life in Western Europe in the Middle Ages (Third ed.). New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-40427-4.
      • Lutz, Cora E. (1977). Schoolmasters of the Tenth Century (First ed.). Archon Books. ISBN 0-208-01628-7.
      • Richardson, H. G.; Sayles, G. O. (1963). The Governance of Mediaeval England. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
      • Stenton, F. M. (1971). Anglo-Saxon England (Third ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280139-5.
      • Walsh, Michael J. (2007). A New Dictionary of Saints: East and West. London: Burns & Oats. ISBN 0-86012-438-X.
      • Williams, Ann (2003). Aethelred the Unready: The Ill-Counselled King. London: Hambledon & London. ISBN 1-85285-382-4.
      • Wormald, Patrick (1999). The Making of English Law: King Alfred to the Twelfth Century. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-22740-7.


    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane



    Today's Snippet I:  Worcestershire, England

    Glover's Needle, Deansway, Worcester Skyline

    Worcestershire (WUUS-tər-shər; abbreviated Worcs) is a non-metropolitan county in the West Midlands of England. In 1974, it merged with the neighbouring county of Herefordshire to form Hereford and Worcester. This was divided in 1998, re-establishing Worcestershire as a county. The Malvern Hills forms the east–west border between the two counties, with the exception of West Malvern in Worcestershire. The county town and only city is Worcester. The other major settlements, Kidderminster, Bromsgrove and Redditch are satellite towns of Birmingham.

    The cathedral city of Worcester is the largest settlement and administrative seat of the county, which includes the principal settlements of Bromsgrove, Stourport-on-Severn, Droitwich, Evesham, Kidderminster, Malvern, and the largest town, Redditch, and a number of smaller towns such as Pershore, Tenbury Wells and Upton upon Severn. The north-east of the county includes part of the industrial West Midlands conurbation while the rest of the county is largely rural.


    The county borders Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire. To the west, the county is bordered by the Malvern Hills and the spa town of Malvern. The southern part of the county is bordered by Gloucestershire and the northern edge of the Cotswolds; to the east is Warwickshire. There are two major rivers flowing through the county, the Severn and the Avon.


    There are many accents and dialects within Worcestershire. Kidderminster in the north of the county has had an influx of the Black Country accent, whereas Bromsgrove and Redditch have an accent more closely related to Birmingham. This is due to the influx of Birmingham residents that moved to the area when Redditch became a new town in the 1964. The rest of the county has retained the distinctive tones of the West Country accent, typified and made famous by The Archers, the world's longest running radio soap opera, set in a fictional county situated somewhere between the (in reality, bordering) counties of Worcestershire and Warwickshire.


    Absorbed by the Kingdom of Mercia during the 7th century and then by the unified Kingdom of England from 927 to 1707, it was a separate ealdormanship briefly in the 10th century before forming part of the Earldom of Mercia in the 11th century. In the years leading up to the Norman conquest, the Church, including the cathedral, Evesham Abbey, Pershore Abbey, Malvern Priory and other religious houses, increasingly dominated county. The last known Anglo-Saxon sheriff of the county was Cyneweard of Laughern, and the first Norman sheriff was Urse d'Abetot who built the castle of Worcester and seized much church land. Worcestershire was the site of the Battle of Evesham in which Simon de Montfort was killed on 4 August 1265. In 1642, the site of the Battle of Powick Bridge the first major skirmish of the English Civil War, and the Battle of Worcester in 1651 that effectively ended it.

    During the Middle Ages, much of the county's economy was based on the wool trade, and many areas of its dense forests, such as Malvern Chase, were royal hunting grounds. In the nineteenth century, Worcester was a centre for the manufacture of gloves; the town of Kidderminster became a centre for carpet manufacture, and Redditch specialised in the manufacture of needles, springs and hooks. Droitwich Spa, being situated on large deposits of salt, was a centre of salt production from Roman times, with one of the principal Roman roads running through the town. These old industries have since declined, to be replaced by other, more varied light industry. The county is also home to the world's oldest continually published newspaper, the Berrow's Journal, established in 1690. Malvern was one of the centres of the 19th century rise in English spa towns due to Malvern water being believed to be very pure, containing "nothing at all".[2]

    Local Government

    Worcestershire's boundaries have been fluid for over a hundred years since the abolition of the form of local administration known as the Hundreds in 1889, but the continual expansion of Birmingham and the Black Country during and after the Industrial Revolution altered the county map considerably.


    Worcestershire County Council came into existence following the Local Government Act 1888 and covered the historic traditional county, except for two designated county boroughs at Dudley and Worcester. The county also had many exclaves and enclaves, which were areas of land cut off from the main geographical area of Worcestershire and completely surrounded by the nearby counties of Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Oxfordshire. The most notable were Dudley, Evenlode, and the area around Shipston-on-Stour. In return, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Shropshire had their own exclaves within Worcestershire. These were found at Clent, Tardebigge and Halesowen/Oldbury (or the Halesowen Parish area) respectively and were transferred to or rejoined Worcestershire in October 1844 following the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844. This Act of Parliament was designed to eradicate the issue of 'islands' or 'exclaves', however Shipston-on-Stour remained associated with Worcestershire until April 1931 and likewise Dudley until 1966. The southern boundary of the county was also confusing, with parish boundaries penetrating deep into Gloucestershire and vice-versa. This was also eventually resolved following the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844.

    Birmingham's continuous expansion has been a large contributory factor to Worcestershire's fluid boundary changes and associated housing issues. The district of Balsall Heath, which had originally constituted the most northerly part of the Parish of King's Norton, was the first area of the County to be added to the County Borough of Birmingham on 1 October 1891. This was followed by Quinton Urban District, which was ceded to Birmingham in November 1909, and then by both the Rural District of Yardley and the greater part of the Urban District of King's Norton and Northfield, which were absorbed into the City as part of the Greater Birmingham Scheme on 9 November 1911. As a consequence of the transfer to Birmingham, these areas were no longer part of Worcestershire and became associated with Warwickshire. Dudley's historical status within the Diocese of Worcester and through its aristocratic links ensured that the island was governed on a largely autonomous basis. Worcester was also self-governing and was known as The City and County of Worcester.

    1926 boundary changes

    In 1926, Dudley County Borough council purchased several square miles of land to the north of the town centre, a large percentage of which existed within Sedgley (Staffordshire), including Dudley Castle. This was in order to build the Priory Estate, a large new council estate on which construction would begin in 1929. The boundaries of Worcestershire were altered to include all of the proposed new housing estate in Dudley.[3]


    During the Local Government reorganisation of April 1966, Dudley expanded beyond its historical boundaries and took in the bulk of Sedgley and Brierley Hill and the south of Coseley as well as a small section of Amblecote. The Local Government Act redefined its status and the County Borough of Dudley became part of Staffordshire, the county which all of these areas had been part of. At the same time, Worcestershire gained a new county borough known as Warley, which was an amalgamation of Oldbury Urban District, Rowley Regis Urban District, the County Borough of Smethwick and parts of Dudley and Tipton. During these reorganisations, the area of the county council grew only where Stourbridge took in the majority of Amblecote Urban District from Staffordshire and the designation of Redditch in 1964 as a New Town. This in turn saw expansion into the area in and around the villages of Ipsley and Matchborough in Warwickshire. The Redditch New Town designation coincided with a considerable programme of social and private house building in Droitwich, Worcester, Bromsgrove, Kidderminster and along the Birmingham boundary at Frankley, Rubery and Rednal. Frankley Parish was later split into two parts with New Frankley and the area around Bartley Reservoir transferring from Bromsgrove District to Birmingham in April 1995. The small village of Frankley remained in Worcestershire and formed a new Civil Parish under the same name.


    From 1974, the central and southern part of the county was amalgamated with Herefordshire and Worcester County Borough to form a single non-metropolitan county of Hereford and Worcester. The County Boroughs of Dudley and Warley along with Stourbridge and Halesowen were incorporated into the new West Midlands Metropolitan county. The West Midlands County Council existed for only a short period before abolition in April 1986 by the Government, though legally exists to this day as an administrative county and ceremonial county.

    In the 1990s UK local government reform, the decision was taken to abolish Hereford and Worcester, with the new non-metropolitan county or shire county of Worcestershire regaining its historic border with Herefordshire.

    The new county still excluded towns such as Stourbridge, Halesowen, Dudley and Oldbury, due to the reorganisation's remit of dealing with only non-metropolitan counties in England. The new County of Worcestershire came into existence on 1 April 1998 as an administrative county and ceremonial county, although some cross-boundary organisations and resources are shared with the Herefordshire unitary authority; these include waste management and the youth offending service.

    The post-April 1974 Hereford & Worcester districts of Redditch, Worcester, Bromsgrove, Wychavon and Wyre Forest were retained with little or no change. However the Leominster and Malvern Hills districts crossed over the historic border, so a new Malvern Hills district was constituted which straddled the pre-April 1974 county boundary to the west, south-west and north-west.

    Physical Geography

    Broadway Tower, one of several Worcestershire follies
    Worcestershire is a mainly rural county. The Malvern Hills, which run from the south of the county into Herefordshire, are made up mainly of volcanic igneous rock and metamorphic rock, some of which date from more than 1200 million years ago. The rest of the county consists of undulating hills and farmland, in which the Severn valley cuts through. Several coniferous and deciduous woodlands are located in the north of the county, while the Vale of Evesham and the Cotswolds run through the south.

    City of Worcester

    Lea and Perrins advertisement (1900)
    The City of Worcester, commonly known as Worcester, (WUUS-tər), is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Birmingham and 29 miles (47 km) north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 100,000 people. The River Severn runs through the middle of the city, overlooked by the twelfth-century Worcester Cathedral. The site of the final battle of the Civil War, Worcester was where Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army defeated King Charles II's Cavaliers, cementing the English Interregnum, the eleven-year period during which England and Wales became a republic. Worcester was the home of Royal Worcester Porcelain and, for much of his life, the composer Sir Edward Elgar. It houses the Lea & Perrins factory where the traditional Worcestershire Sauce is made, and is home to one of the UK's fastest growing universities, the University of Worcester.

    The inter-war years saw the rapid growth of engineering, producing machine tools James Archdale, H.W. Ward, castings for the motor industry Worcester Windshields and Casements, mining machinery Mining Engineering Company (MECO) which later became part of Joy Mining Machinery and open-top cans Williamsons, though G H Williamson and Sons had become part of the Metal Box Co in 1930. Later the company became Carnaud Metal Box PLC.

    Worcester Porcelain operated in Worcester until 2008 when the factory was closed down due to the recession. However, the site of Worcester Porcelain still houses the Worcester Porcelain Museum which is open daily to visitors.

    One of Worcester's most famous products, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce is made and bottled in the Midland Road factory in Worcester, which has been the home of Lea & Perrins since 16 October 1897. Mr Lea and Mr Perrins originally met in a chemist's shop on the site of the now Debenhams store in the Crowngate Shopping Centre.

    The surprising foundry heritage of the city is represented by Morganite Crucible at Norton which produces graphitic shaped products and cements for use in the modern industry.

    Worcester is the home of what is claimed to be the oldest newspaper in the world, Berrow's Worcester Journal, which traces its descent from a news-sheet that started publication in 1690. The city is also a major retail centre with several covered shopping centres that has most major chains represented as well as a host of independent shops and restaurants, particularly in Friar Street and New Street.

    Probably the most famous landmark in Worcester is its imposing Worcester Cathedral. The current building, formally named The Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, was begun in 1084 while its crypt dates from the tenth century. The chapter house is the only circular one in the country while the cathedral also has the distinction of having the tomb of King John. Limited parts of the city wall still remain.
    There are three main parks in Worcester, Cripplegate Park, Gheluvelt Park and Fort Royal Park, the latter being on one of the battles sites of the English Civil War. In addition, there is a large open area known as Pitchcroft to the North of the city centre on the east bank of the River Severn, which, apart from those days when it is being used for horse racing, is a public space.

    Gheluvelt Park was opened as a memorial to commemorate the Worcestershire Regiment's 2nd Battalion after their part in the Battle of Gheluvelt, during World War I. There are also two large woodlands in the city, Perry Wood, at twelve hectares, and Nunnery Wood, covering twenty-one hectares. Perry Wood is often said to be the place where Oliver Cromwell met and made a pact with the devil.[24] Nunnery Wood is an integral part of the adjacent and popular Worcester Woods Country Park, itself next door to County Hall on the east side of the city.


    The village of Broadheath, about 6 miles (10 km) North-West of the city of Worcester, is the birthplace of the composer Edward Elgar. It is claimed that the county was the inspiration for The Shire, a region of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional Middle-earth, described in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien was thought to have named Bilbo Baggins' house "Bag End" after his Aunt Jane's Worcestershire farm. Tolkien wrote of Worcestershire: "Any corner of that county (however fair or squalid) is in an indefinable way 'home' to me, as no other part of the world is.

    Industry and agriculture

    Fruit farming and the cultivation of hops were traditional agricultural activities in much of the county. During the latter half of the 20th century, this has largely declined with the exception southern area of the county around the Vale of Evesham, where orchards are still worked on a commercial scale.Worcester City's coat of arms includes three black pears, representing a now rare local pear variety, the Worcester Black Pear. The county's coat of arms follows this theme, having a pear tree with black pears. The apple variety known as Worcester Pearmain originates from Worcestershire, and the Pershore plum comes from the small Worcestershire town of that name, and is widely grown in that area. John Drinkwater, the poet, wrote
    Who travels Worcester county takes any road that comes when April tosses bounty to the cherries and the plums.

    Worcestershire is also famous for a number of its non-agricultural products. The original Worcestershire sauce, a savoury condiment made by Lea and Perrins, is made in Worcester, and the now closed Royal Porcelain works was based in the city. The town of Malvern is the home of the Morgan traditional sports car. The painting, A Worcestershire Cottage by Arthur Claude Strachan is also of general renown.


    1. ^
    2. ^ Bottled Waters of the World. Retrieved 9 August 2009
    3. ^ "A History of Dudley". Retrieved 2012-11-07.
    4. ^ [1]
    5. ^ Humphrey,C. 1977 Tolkien: A Biography New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-04-928037-6
    6. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
    7. ^ includes hunting and forestry
    8. ^ includes energy and construction
    9. includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured


        Today's Snippet II:  Worcester Cathedral

        Worcester Cathedral
        Worcester Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in Worcester, England; situated on a bank overlooking the River Severn. It is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Worcester. Its official name is The Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Mary the Virgin of Worcester. Built between 1084 and 1504, Worcester Cathedral represents every style of English architecture from Norman to Perpendicular Gothic. It is famous for its Norman crypt and unique chapter house, its unusual Transitional Gothic bays, its fine woodwork and its "exquisite" central tower which is of particularly fine proportion.

        The cathedral's west facade appeared, with a portrait of Sir Edward Elgar, on the reverse of £20 note issued by the Bank of England between 1999 and 2007.


        A plan of Worcester Cathedral made in 1836 
        (engraved by B.Winkles after 
        a drawing by Benjamin Baud).
        The Cathedral was founded in 680 with Bishop Bosel as its head. The first cathedral was built in this period but nothing now remains of it. The existing crypt of the cathedral dates from the 10th century and the time of St. Oswald, Bishop of Worcester. The current cathedral dates from the 12th and 13th centuries.

        Monks and nuns had been present at the Cathedral since the seventh century (see Bede). The monastery became Benedictine in the second half of the tenth century (one author gives the time range 974-7, another considers 969 more likely). There is an important connection to Fleury as Oswald, bishop of Worcester 961-92, being prior at the same time, was professed at Fleury and introduced the monastic rule of Fleury to Worcester. The Benedictine monks were driven out at 18 January 1540 and replaced by secular canons.

        The former monastic library of Worcester contained a considerable number of manuscripts which are, among other libraries, now scattered over Cambridge, London (British Library), Oxford Bodleian, and the Cathedral library at Worcester of today.

        Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the building was re-established as a cathedral of secular clergy. The cathedral was subject to major restoration work by Sir George Gilbert Scott and A. E. Perkins in the 1860s.

        An image of the cathedral's west facade appeared on the reverse of the Series E British £20 note commemorating Sir Edward Elgar, issued between 1999 and 2007. The notes are gradually being withdrawn from circulation to be replaced by a new series.


        Worcester Cathedral Facade
        Worcester Cathedral embodies many features that are highly typical of an English medieval cathedral. Like the cathedrals of Salisbury and Lincoln, it has two transepts crossing the nave, rather than the single transept usual on the Continent. This feature of English Cathedrals was to facilitate the private saying of the Holy Office by many clergy or monks. Worcester is also typical of English cathedrals in having a chapter house and cloister. To the north side of the cathedral is an entrance porch, a feature designed to eliminate the draught which, prior to the installation of modern swing doors, would blow through cathedrals whenever the western doors were open.

        Worcester Cathedral has important parts of the building dating from every century from the 11th to the 16th. Its tower in the Perpendicular style is described by Alec Clifton-Taylor as "exquisite" and is seen best across the River Severn.

        The earliest part of the building at Worcester is the multi-columned Norman crypt with cushion capitals remaining from the original monastic church begun by St Wulfstan in 1084. Also from the Norman period is the circular chapter house of 1120, made octagonal on the outside when the walls were reinforced in the 14th century. The nave was built and rebuilt piecemeal and in different styles by several different architects over a period of 200 years, from 1170 to 1374, some bays being a unique and decorative transition between Norman and Gothic.[ The oldest parts show alternate layers of green sandstone from Highley in Shropshire and yellow Cotswold limestone.

        The east end was rebuilt over the Norman crypt by Alexander Mason between 1224 and 1269, coinciding with, and in a very similar Early English style to Salisbury Cathedral. From 1360 John Clyve finished off the nave, built its vault, the west front, the north porch and the eastern range of the cloister. He also strengthened the Norman chapter house, added buttresses and changed its vault. His masterpiece is the central tower of 1374, originally supporting a timber, lead-covered spire, now gone. Between 1404 and 1432 an unknown architect added the north and south ranges to the cloister, which was eventually closed by the western range by John Chapman, 1435–38. The last important addition is Prince Arthur’s Chantry Chapel to the right of the south choir aisle, 1502–04.

        Worcester Cathedral was extensively restored from 1857 to 1874 by W. A. Perkins and Sir George Gilbert Scott. Most of the fittings and the stained glass date from this time.

        Burials and memorials

        The interior, looking east.
        The Cathedral contains the tomb of King John in its chancel. Before his death in Newark in 1216, John had requested to be buried at Worcester. He is buried between the shrines of St Wulstan and St Oswald (now destroyed).

        The cathedral has a memorial, Prince Arthur's Chantry, to the young prince Arthur Tudor, who is buried here. Arthur's younger brother and next in line for the throne was Henry VIII. Worcester Cathedral was doubtless spared destruction by Henry VIII during the English Reformation because of his brother's chantry in the cathedral.

        An epitaph in Latin to a headmaster Henry Bright of King's College, Worcester can be found near the north porch. Other notable burials include:
        • Richard Edes (d. 1604), a chaplain to Elizabeth I and James I.
        • William Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Hamilton (1616-1651), Scottish Royalist commander during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms
        • John Gauden (1605–1662), Bishop of Worcester
        • Stanley Baldwin (1867–1947), Prime Minister



        Misericord and choir stall at Chester Cathedral
        Thirty nine of the misericords date from 1379 and include a complete set of the Labours of the Months. The subject matter includes biblical stories, mythology and folklore including N-07, The Clever Daughter which shows a naked woman draped in a net, riding a goat and carrying a rabbit under her arm. Three of the misericords are Victorian replacements such as N-02, Judas in the jaws of Satan.

        A misericord (sometimes named mercy seat, like the Biblical object) is a small wooden shelf on the underside of a folding seat in a church, installed to provide a degree of comfort for a person who has to stand during long periods of prayer.
        Prayers in the early medieval church at the daily divine offices (Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline) were said standing with uplifted hands. The old or infirm could use crutches or, as time went on, a misericordia (literally "act of mercy"). Seating was constructed so that the seats could be turned up; the undersides had a small shelf, allowing the user to lean against it, slightly reducing their discomfort. Like most other medieval woodwork in churches, they were usually skilfully carved and often show detailed scenes, despite being hidden underneath the seats, especially in the choir stalls of the quire around the altar.
        Misericords in English churches date from the start of the 13th century right up until the 21st century, although after the beginning of the 17th century they are viewed as modern copies with little or no historical importance. Remnant's 1969 catalogue dismisses everything after that date as "modern", rarely even affording it a description, but there are many wonderful carvings from the Victorian era, and even the modern day. The earliest set of misericords can be found in the choir stalls of Exeter Cathedral and dates from the middle of the 13th century. The vast majority of English misericords date from the 14th and 15th centuries and are curiously most often depictions of secular or pagan images and scenes, entirely at odds with the Christian iconography and aesthetic that surround them.

        Many stalls with misericords were once part of monastic or collegiate churches, but under the Reformation many were either destroyed or broken up to be dispersed amongst parish churches. Those that survived were further depleted by 17th century iconoclasts and Victorian reformers. One set at Chester was destroyed by Dean Howson because he deemed it improper, although 43 of the original medieval scenes still remain. The woodcarvers came from Lincoln in the late 14th century and moved on to Westminster Hall when they had finished the quire, three years later. It is said that it was the apprentices who were allowed to carve the seats, while the masters did the more impressive works.

        Others have been destroyed by fire or by natural decay. Fortunately, there are many hundreds left. There are a particularly fine set of original 15th century misericords beneath the choir stalls in St Botolph's church, Boston, Lincolnshire, also known as The Stump.

        A distinct (but related) use of the word is to denote a room in a medieval Benedictine monastery where some part of the community would eat on any given day. The Rule of Saint Benedict included strict rules on the food allowed for monks in the refectory: for example, it provided for a complete ban on the meat of four-legged animals except for the sick. In a late medieval monastery, a schedule would send half of all monks to dine in the refectory, and the other half to the misericord, where the Rule of Saint Benedict was not in effect and they could indulge in meat. At Westminster Abbey, the misericord was constructed sometime between 1230 and 1270.

        Misericords are found to this day on kathismata, the choir stalls used by Eastern Orthodox monastics. These tend to be much simpler than their Western counterparts, usually being a simple strip of rounded wood with little or no ornamentation. Their use is very common in the Greek Orthodox Church, though Russian Orthodox monasteries tend not to have individual choir stalls, but simple benches for the brethren to sit on. Orthodox Christians stand throughout the long divine services, rather than sit or kneel, though some seating is provided for the elderly and infirm. Whereas Greek monks will tend to lean in their stalls during the services, Russian monks usually stand upright.

        As the 'hidden' position and 'vernacular' iconography of misericords have prompted them to be seen as a subversive art-form, they have re-appeared as motifs in modern art and literature (see Misericords for Ninevah, Mike Freeman, Poetry Nation Review, pp24–25, 2009).

        Labours of the Months

        Illustration from Très riches heures du Duc de Berry, 1412-16, by Pol and Hermann de Limbourg, representing the month of August  Illumination on vellum, 22,5 x 13,6 cm
        The term Labours of the Months refers to cycles in Medieval and early Renaissance art depicting in twelve scenes the rural activities that commonly took place in the months of the year. They are often linked to the signs of the Zodiac, and are seen as humankind's response to God's ordering of the Universe.

        The Labours of the Months are frequently found as part of large sculptural schemes on churches, and in illuminated manuscripts, especially in the Calendars of late medieval Books of Hours.

        The manuscripts are important for the development of landscape painting, containing most of the first painting where this was given prominence. The most famous cycle is that painted in the early 15th century by Hermann, Pol and Johan de Limbourg in Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.

        In the 16th century, late in the history of the theme, Simon Bening produced especially fine cycles which link the Limbourgs with the landscape paintings of Peter Breughel the Elder.

        The contents of cycles varied with date, location, and the purpose of the work. The Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (illustrated right) was designed for the personal use of a great magnate, and was unusually large, allowing all the typical elements to be used in many months. It combines astrological and calendar information at the top, with a combination of the agricultual life of the peasant, the life of the elite courtiers, and illustrations of the Duke's many castles in the background of several scenes.
        A typical simple scheme was:
        • January - Feasting
        • February - Sitting by the fire
        • March - Pruning trees, or digging
        • April - Planting, enjoying the country or picking flowers
        • May - Hawking, courtly love
        • June - Hay harvest
        • July - Wheat harvest
        • August - Wheat threshing
        • September - Grape harvest
        • October - Ploughing or sowing
        • November - Gathering acorns for pigs
        • December - Killing pigs, baking
        - but there were many variations, especially in major wine-growing areas, where more wine related scenes were included. Italian cycles often advance the agricultural scenes a month earlier than ones from the Low countries or England. The impact of the onset of the Little Ice Age has been detected in differences between early and late examples.


        The tower has a ring of twelve bells plus three semitone bells and a non-swinging bourdon. The heaviest bell in a diatonically tuned English-style ring of bells is called the tenor. If a larger, heavier bell is also present it would be called a bourdon. The current peal of 15 ringing bells were cast in 1928 by John Taylor & Co., of Loughborough, from the metal of the original ring cast in 1869. The ring is the fifth heaviest ring of twelve in the world, only the bells in the cathedrals of Liverpool, Exeter, York and St Paul's, London are heavier. The bells are also considered to be one of the finest toned rings ever cast. The bells hang in a wooden frame that was constructed in 1869 for the previous ring. Worcester Cathedral is unique in having a purpose-built teaching centre equipped with eight special training bells, linked to computers.


        The transept organ-case
        Worcester Cathedral has three choirs: the Worcester Cathedral Choir (the main choir which has both a boys' and a girls' treble line, which normally work independently), Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir, and the Worcester Cathedral Voluntary Choir. All three choirs were involved in the BBC broadcast of the midnight and Christmas morning services in 2007, with the boys and the girls of the Cathedral Choir, respectively, taking the lead in the two services.[12] Since the 18th century, Worcester Cathedral Choir has taken part in the Three Choirs Festival, the oldest music festival in the world.

        The composer Edward Elgar spent most of his life in Worcestershire. The first performance of the revised version of his Enigma Variations - the version usually performed - took place at the cathedral during the 1899 Three Choirs Festival. He is commemorated in a stained glass window which contains his portrait.

        Worcester Cathedral has a long history of organs dating back to at least 1417. There have been many re-builds and new organs in the intervening period, including work by Thomas Dallam, William Hill and most famously Robert Hope-Jones in 1896. The Hope Jones organ was heavily re-built in 1925 by Harrison & Harrison, and then regular minor works kept it in working order until Wood Wordsworth and Co were called in 1978. It was a large four-manual organ with 61 speaking stops. It had a large Gothic Revival case with heavily decorated front pipes as well as two smaller cases either side of the quire.[13]

        The new quire organ completed in 2008
        This organ (apart from the large transept case and pedal pipes) was removed in 2006 in order to make way for a new instrument by Kenneth Tickell, which was completed in the summer of 2008.[14] The nave has a separate three-manual Rodgers organ.[15]

        Notable organists at Worcester have included Thomas Tomkins (from 1596), Hugh Blair (from 1895), Ivor Atkins (from 1897) and David Willcocks (from 1950). The present organist (from 2012) is Dr Peter Nardone.


        Worcester Cathedral is the host of the annual graduation ceremonies for the University of Worcester. These ceremonies are presided over by the Chancellor of the University, and take place over three days in November.


        • Worcester Cathedral (official guidebook), Scala Publishers Ltd. (2004) ISBN 1-85759-347-2
        • Tatton-Brown, Tim; John Crook (2002). The English Cathedral. New Holland Publishers. ISBN 1-84330-120-2.
        • R.K. Morris, ed. Medieval Art and Architecture at Worcester Cathedral, 1978


        Catechism of the Catholic Church

        Part One: Profession of Faith, Sect 2 The Creeds, Ch 3:1

        I. The Joint Mission of the Son and the Spirit

        689 The One whom the Father has sent into our hearts, the Spirit of his Son, is truly God.Gal 4:6 Consubstantial with the Father and the Son, the Spirit is inseparable from them, in both the inner life of the Trinity and his gift of love for the world. In adoring the Holy Trinity, life-giving, consubstantial, and indivisible, the Church's faith also professes the distinction of persons. When the Father sends his Word, he always sends his Breath. In their joint mission, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct but inseparable. To be sure, it is Christ who is seen, the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Spirit who reveals him.

        690 Jesus is Christ, "anointed," because the Spirit is his anointing, and everything that occurs from the Incarnation on derives from this fullness.Jn 3:34 When Christ is finally glorified,Jn 7:39 he can in turn send the Spirit from his place with the Father to those who believe in him: he communicates to them his glory,Jn 17:22 that is, the Holy Spirit who glorifies him.Jn 16:14 From that time on, this joint mission will be manifested in the children adopted by the Father in the Body of his Son: the mission of the Spirit of adoption is to unite them to Christ and make them live in him:

        The notion of anointing suggests . . . that there is no distance between the Son and the Spirit. Indeed, just as between the surface of the body and the anointing with oil neither reason nor sensation recognizes any intermediary, so the contact of the Son with the Spirit is immediate, so that anyone who would make contact with the Son by faith must first encounter the oil by contact. In fact there is no part that is not covered by the Holy Spirit. That is why the confession of the Son's Lordship is made in the Holy Spirit by those who receive him, the Spirit coming from all sides to those who approach the Son in faith.St. Gregory of Nyssa, De Spiritu Sancto, 16: PG 45, 1321A-B