11 March 2016

Canon David Windsor Skeoch, MA

Father died, fortified by the Rites of our Holy Mother the Church, yesterday.

A Christ Church man, Fr David was on the staff of a magical church, S Mary's Bourne Street, for five years; and then was whisked away by Bishop Graham Leonard to be his Chaplain in Truro, at that happy time one of the most Catholic dioceses in the Church of England. After the Translation of Bishop Graham to London was announced, Father achieved a brief notoriety by being reported to have said, at a vinous dinner party, "When we get to London, heads will roll".

Under the Leonard/Skeoch regime, the London Chrism Masses, and the London Ordinations, were models of how such things should be done. After nearly two decades as pp at S Gabriel's Pimlico, he retired to a house in Ipswich to which he (I presume it was he) gave the name La Canonica.

He was in the Ordinariate's First Wave; and I used to wonder what thoughts went through his mind when, in the Ordinary's residence in Golden Square, he saw that splendid portrait of Bishop Graham hanging on the study wall and dominating the room. Canon Skeoch was one of the Ordinariate's links with the last exuberant flowering of the Catholic Movement in the Church of England, before the weather grew cold.

14 comments:

Liam Ronan said...

In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.

Iryna Margarita said...

Praised be Jesus Christ! Fr John, is it possible to contact You, I'd like to ask You some questions concerning translation of one latin hymn. Thank You in advance!

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Iryna

Laudetur! I'd be very happy for you to put your queries here on the blog, and I will do my best to answer them!

philipjohnson said...

Fr.Can i pick your brain please?Our priest is a good and holy-i think- man and is very prayerful.However at our weekend masses he picksProtestant hymns with regularity-this is irking me so much.John Wesley is sung very often but aren't we Catholics?Shouldnt we be partaking of the wealth of Catholic hymns at our disposal?Just a thought.God Bless.

Liam Ronan said...

I would like you to know, Father, that I have enrolled Canon David Windsor Skeoch in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (see link below). May he rest in peace.

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/03/reminder-rorate-caeli-purgatorial.html

Madre Mio said...

Is this a false memory? Solemn High Mass at St Gabriel's for the eve of Charles, King & Martyr. David Skeoch, Canon of The Murray and PP as celebrant, he and the other two Sacred Ministers in copes and mortar boards. The liturgy according to the Scottish Prayer Book of 1683.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Philip

I know what you mean! But, to be clear, I would like to say that so many of Charles Wesley's hymns are robust and manly affirmations of Catholic and Biblical truth; while what passes for music in many Catholic parishes is effeminate, wet, and flabby; indeed, sometimes heretical.

Yes, I DO know what you mean: the good old Westminster Hymnal!

Pete said...

I too remember, back in the 80s, the High Masses on the evening of the 30th of January according to 1637 Scottish book; splendid affairs.

Iryna Margarita said...

Thank you, Father. The hymn is "O Vírgo pulchérrima!" If you can, explain please what do these titles mean concerning Blessed Virgin: O rósa puríssima! O páscens lília! O lúmen lúminum! O flos conválium!

Fr John Hunwicke said...

O Rose most pure! O grazing the lilies! O light of lights! O flower of the valleys!

Was it pascens that puzzled you? It puzzles me too. pasco, when it is transitive, like here (i.e. is taking an accusative object), it means to feed. But I'm not sure that we are to think of our Lady "feeding" lilies! When it means to graze upon, it doesn't ususally have an object(i.e. it is intransitive) But poets, especially medieval ones, wrote ... er ... intuitively. I suspect he meant "grazing among the lilies". He probably liked the thought of our Lady wandering among flowers the whiteness of which reflected her purity.

Any ideas, anyone?

Iryna Margarita said...

I had found such translation: O Lily feeding! before, but now I've realised, that it's not correct, cause 'lilia' - it's plural.
I think "O feeding the lilies" is quite good: it seems to me that lilies - it means pure souls. What do you think?
And 'O flower of the valleys!' does this mean that Our Lady is the flower of the valley-Earth?
P.S. Sorry for my English, it's not very well..(

philipjohnson said...

Thank you Father-The Westminster Hymnal indeed!God Bless.

dunmowflitch said...

I understand that the late Canon was given to voicing his displeasure by using the phrase "This is monstrous! This is outrageous!" or words to that effect.
On one occasion on a Continental holiday he arrived very late in the day at an abbey, where the monk at the gatehouse, in a very scruffy and muddy habit, who had evidently been gardening, told him that he was unfortunately too late for the evening meal. The Canon went through his "monstrous, outrageous" routine whereupon with a sigh the monk went off and managed to procure a plate of food.
The next norning the Canon entered the Abbey church for Lauds to discover that the gardener had now morphed into the Abbot.

Oliver Nicholson said...

I feel I have come across pasco in Bede meaning "I graze" -with accusative of object grazed. I rather like the idea of Our Lady browsing the lillies (perhaps sniffing them) in the aftermath of Gabriel's tremendous announcement.