Friday, 26 November 2010
Talking about the English Martyrs
At the John Fisher School in Purley today, I gave the boys at the Faith Group a talk about the English Martyrs. I made a rather dismissive comment about the teaching of history nowadays and then proceeded to be thoroughly corrected by their impressive knowledge of the monarchs of the period between 1535 and 1681 (and the "Commonwealth") and many details of the history of the period.
That was actually a great help since I could leave aside all that and speak about some of the martyrs, their sufferings, their character, and the dirty tricks that were played on them in an attempt to discredit them. The questions were intelligent and it was my initiative to call things to a close after about an hour, rather than having to throw in the towel (as sometimes happens with talks to youngsters) when restlessness sets in. It was relatively easy because there are so many stirring stories associated with our glorious martyrs.
After the talk, there is tea and buttered toast - a long-standing tradition of the Faith Group at the Fisher School - along with pool playing and, for me, a chance to have a chat with the Headmaster who kindly found the time to call in. Afterwards I went with Sir Dan of the blogosphere (right) to a restaurant at Tattenham Corner, overlooking the Epsom Downs racecourse, for a session of plotting and scheming the reform of the Church, opposing all bogginess.
I took the above picture four years ago in the Chapter House at Parkminster where the monks are reminded of the sufferings of their heavenly companions. Since that time, the paintings have been cleaned. I would love to take some new photos some time. You can read a little about the Carthusian Martyrs at my post Pictures of the Carthusian Martyrs in the Chapter House.