Some very nice chap emailed me and said that coats of arms (and indeed arms of coats) are all well and good, but that the explanation of them is even better, so here goes.
Starting on the bits around. A black galero with one tassle on each side is because I am a priest (still, by the way, available for bar mitzoth etc...). There is the motto "Clamate Voce Maiore". This means "cry out with a louder voice". It was what the prophet Elijah said to the prophets of Ba'al when they could not get their so-called god to start a fire. Sometimes you just have to mock the Devil.
From the top, the half sun with rays is a symbol of St Bede the Venerable.
|St Bede the Venerable|
The fleurs de lis are for the Blessed Virgin.
The bees are because my initial is "B", Bede, and the oars are because my surname is Rowe. They are in the colours of my college rowing team, Oriel, of which I was never a part, but for whom I cheered enthusiastically for many years.
The open book is because I am an academic institution. No, its the ecclesiastical history by St Bede, and I like books and learning and stuff.
So there you go.