Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

January 655 A.D. Peterborough Abbey, Cambridgeshire—Saxon Monastery Founded c.655 by (Monk) Saxult and Peada, King of Mercia; Destroyed in Danish Raids 870; Derelict to 966

January 655 A.D. Peterborough Abbey, Cambridgeshire—Saxon Monastery Founded c.655 by (Monk) Saxult and Peada, King of Mercia; Destroyed in Danish Raids 870;  Derelict to 966;  Benedictines Refounded by Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, with King Edgar and St. Dunstan;  (Romanesque/Gothic) Cathedral Built 1118-1237; Consecrated by Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln;  Catherine of Aragon Buried Here in 1536; Dissolved 29 Nov 1539;  Mary Queen of Scots Buried Here in 1587, But Removed to Westminster Abbey by Her Son, King James 1; Episcopal Diocesan Cathedral Continued to Present;  Called “Cathedral Church of St. Peter, St. Paul and St. Andrew, Peterborough


Peterborough Cathedral
Peterborough Cathedral west front - from the unique (in England) portico style facade to the unscreened nave and choir culminating in an apse with a large ciborium, any (Southern) Italian would feel at home in this magnificent old English abbey church - a fact never remarked on in any of the guide books!   Be sympathetic to the rather jarring structure in the central portico - it was built to  prop up the facade, which was tipping over a bit
The cathedral - an old monastic foundation / abbey which was promoted to cathedral status by Henry VIII around 1540 (after he had closed the monastery) - has the best descriptive boards we have seen anywhere in Europe relating to its own history and the history and workings of monastic life in the middle ages. 
Sadly, almost all of Peterborough's monastic buildings, the lady chapel and most of the stained glass windows were left in ruins by Cromwell's men in the 1650s and the materials have since been wheelbarrowed away.  Below is the empty space left by the south side cloister.

The Chapter House (downstairs) and monks' dormitory (upstairs) building would have extended from the south transept.

The nave, sadly not stone vaulted, but with a magnificent Italian style vista right through the choir to the South Italian style ciborium and the apse (below and below), and with overhanging Italian style crucifix.  If only more English Cathedrals would at least get rid of the organ rubbish from the 1800s which clutters up far too many vistas, though sadly in this case it was an act of arson which achieved this.