|St. Julian's Church was bombed in WWII, and has since been entirely rebuilt.|
|The whole church is this one small nave, a vesting room, and the Julian Shrine (photos below).|
|A view of the altar.|
|The vicar of St. Julian's Church commissioned this new icon of Lady Julian.|
Also, can I just say how wonderful it is that British rented rooms usually include a sink, and more importantly, a tea kettle?
Norwich Cathedral is a fifteen-minute walk north. I arrived in time for a look 'round the Cloisters and a scone with cream and jam in the Refectory before the last cathedral tour of the day. And then I even had time to sit in the Cloisters for a while and read a book before heading back to St. Julian's for evening prayer.
|900-year-old Norman Cathedral|
|The Cloisters - the vaulted walkways that connected various parts of the monastery|
|The center of the Cloisters. There's a labyrinth in the grass, added in 2002 to celebrate Her Majesty's Jubilee.|
|The spire of the cathedral|
|Roof "bosses." The cathedral and cloisters contain over a thousand of these medieval sculptures.|
|The cathedral itself was setting up for a concert that evening.|
|This organ had a beautiful sound - I heard it for the Sunday service.|
|A view of the choir and the altar at the far end. The church only really uses this altar for weddings and special events now.|
|The lectern is a pelican (medieval people didn't actually know what pelicans really looked like). According to legend, the pelican feeds its young on its own blood from its breast, making it a perfect medieval symbol of Christ.|
|The bishop's seat is behind the altar. It's a bit precarious now, but even without a railing, the bishop does sometimes sit there.|
|The military chapel|
|Another beautiful side chapel|
|Remnants of paint like this are the reason for belief that the medieval cathedral was fully painted, but has since largely faded. How unlike the white stone today!|
|Osbert Parsley was a "singing man" who somehow, magically, remained a church singer under all four monarchs of the English Reformation.|
The Julian Festival took place on Saturday. It didn't begin until the 11:00 Eucharist, so I strolled through town and enjoyed seeing the marketplace and the outsides of a number of old churches and medieval buildings. Norwich was a bustling medieval town, and a lot of those medieval facades endured to today (or have been restored), so there's always something interesting to look at. I didn't have time to see the museum in Norwich Castle--something for the next trip. The Julian Festival itself consisted of Eucharist, a lecture by a prominent scholar of Julian of Norwich, a picnic lunch in the garden, evening prayer, and a few events only for the Friends of Julian and the Companions of Julian (neither of which I am a member). It was a draining day for me, but it was really fantastic to be in the company of so many other people who have found wisdom and solace in the life and writings of this amazing woman. I also made friends with a Dutch PhD student writing her dissertation on Julian. She and I had great fun comparing our experiences in US and Swedish doctoral programs. Later in the early evening, I found time for solitary prayer in the Julian Shrine.
|On the right you can see the surviving piece of the foundation of Julian's cell|
Finally, on Sunday I was able to attend Eucharist at both Julian's church and Norwich Cathedral. They couldn't have been much more different. The first was quiet and contemplative, perhaps ten people in the Julian Shrine. The second, at the cathedral, was exuberant and boisterous (I happened to sit behind all the Sunday School kids) and filled with music. The organ sounded marvelous and the congregation sang hymns lustily, if half a second behind the organ. The choir, men and boys, sang Mozart's Missa Brevis in F (not Mozart's best work, although I did like the fugue at the Hosanna) and Stanford's Coelos ascendit hodie (frankly, not Stanford's best work either, but always fun). I felt extremely welcomed in both churches and am starting to get the hang of the minor differences in liturgical wording between the Episcopal Church of America and the Church of England.
After one last meal provided by the sister, and a really eventful train trip home (serious issues on the tracks around London meant hours of delays and rerouting), I finally got back around 10 pm. Norwich was not a trip I'll easily forget. It's one thing to know a place through photographs, scholarship, or writing, and another to see it in person, touch the stones it's made of, kneel to pray there in the company of all who came before. On this trip, there were two such churches for me to encounter materially.