7 June 2022


Not so many years since this University closed down Greyfriars, it is now to close down St Benet's Hall. 

The Order of S Benedict has been bound up with the history of England; since S Augustine brought Roman Monasticism to Canterbury. And it is even more closely bound up with the Kingdom of England: with the great Abbey at Westminster, Shrine of King Edward the Confessor, Burying Place of the Kings of England.

After the Reformation, the last surviving monk of the Marian Restoration of this Abbey formally conveyed the rights and continuities of his community to a group of exiled recusant Benedictines. When, much later, this community was able to re-establish itself back in England, at Ampleforth in Yorkshire, the College of Arms recognised the right of Ampleforth to the medieval Arms of Westminster Abbey (the Tudors had granted a new and stylistically very Tudor shield to the establishment they now called the Collegiate Church of St Peter). 

And St Benet's Hall is ... was ... the House of Studies set up in Oxford by that Ampleforth Commnuity.

Just as a humble row of staircases, now part of 'Worcester College', represented the Benedictine Houses of Medieval England before their Suppression (you can still see the shields of Arms of those Houses above the entrances to those staircases).

There are countries where Christinity is hounded out by overt violence.

England ... and Oxford ... have more subtle, more polite ways of hounding out the traditions which once made England what it once was.

1 comment:

Bill Murphy said...

Is the anti-Catholic Oxford establishment really to blame? Blackfriars and Campion Hall continue. If money is the most immediate problem and the trust behind Ampleforth are looking to raise cash by selling the St Benet buildings.... Surely the usual disease (sodomy) is behind the
huge Ampleforth School problems and, indirectly, the St Benet closure.