22 February 2011


Terrible news about catastrophic damage to the Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand; and that there are people trapped in the rubble. I know readers will pray for them and for all the people of Christchurch.

That Cathedral was built by Henry Jacobs, who had been, in August 1848, the first head master of Lancing College. He only lasted a month at Lancing*; the Founder, Nathanael Woodard, was forced to sack him - rumour had it that he was caught with a matron behind a door, but the archives simply reveal a disagreement about auricular Confession. Woodard believed that all his masters and boys should 'go' regularly, but Jacobs had problems with this and tried to make trouble about it with the authorities. He then went out to Kiwi and founded their first English-style Public School before becoming the founding Dean of the Cathedral.

The other 'Lancing' Cathedral is the one at Seoul in Corea. It shows its kinship with Lancing by its dedication - Our Lady and S Nicolas - which is the same as that of Lancing and of the Southern Division of the Woodard Corporation.


*Well, at Shoreham, to be precise. The Folly on the Hill, which you can see in the atmospheric picture at the top of Pastor in Valle Adurni, had not yet been built.

1 comment:

Joshua said...

The other Cathedral - of the Blessed Sacrament - is in even worse shape, having half-collapsed. A great pity: I heard Mass there only last year, and it saddens me to think of this great House of God in ruins.

A far greater sadness, though, is the terrible loss of life.

Three of New Zealand's Catholic cathedrals were built by the architect Francis Petre (1847-1918): St Joseph's in Dunedin (Gothic); Sacred Heart in Wellington (Palladian); and the just-destroyed Blessed Sacrament in Christchurch, "the finest Renaissance style building in Australasia".

Sic transit gloria mundi.


Also a great loss: the Provincial Chambers, a curious example of Victorian secular Gothic, within whose walls the former Provincial Council of Canterbury held its deliberations.