Monday, 22 May 2017

A Chartres Surplice - a school and God's own county


The first of the final two coats of arms is that of Chavagnes International College, of whose Scouts I am privileged to be chaplain. Fine and brave Scouts they are indeed! Search on the search thing to the right of this post and find out the most wonderful and marvellous things that they do.

This very blog is thanks (or curses) to Chavagnes. It is because of this that I am a 'chaplain' (to the school) 'abroad' (for France is sadly no longer under the British crown).


And this last one is the flag of Northumberland. This windswept county is beautiful, simply stunning. It retains the rugged honesty and integrity of place which is lost in so many areas of the country. Northumberland has it in spades. It is the place of my family and birth. The flag, though a recent invention, is based on an account of St Bede the Venerable of the flag draped  on St Oswald's tomb in the 7th century. To my intense irritation, it is often flown upside down. Top left should be gold. Not red. Gold.


So there you have it, my Chartres surplice. I hope that it survives more than one year, but if it does not, then it will have been worn to the glory of God and in honour of the Blessed Virgin. I beg the intersession of the saints and blesseds who are thereon, and I carry with me in my heart all the rest.

Come to Chartres! Come because of a sweet love of Our Lady. But if you cannot, then pray for us. And we will pray for you - for the whole world.


Let us, like knights of old, ride into battle against sin, the world, and the Devil carrying Our Lady's token, knowing that should we fall in the attempt, that she will cradle us in her arms and when this life ebbs away, smooth away our troubled hearts, and kiss our brow as only a Mother can.

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