Today is Reformation Day

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In the largely secular world of ‘Western’ society today, Halloween has become a huge and ever growing event each year. So much so that the other significant anniversary of October 31, namely Reformation Day, is often forgotten, or ignored by many.

Today marks 502 years since the German monk, Martin Luther, one of the prime movers in the Reformation of Christianity, apparently nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg church of All Saints.

A sprawling empire, a collection of German states

In those days the Electorate of Saxony, in which the city of Wittenberg lay, was part of the sprawling Holy Roman Empire, of which, what we now know as Germany, was wholly contained, though it was not a unified country but a hotchpotch collection of smaller states and city states.

Martin Luther, who had long agonised about his own faith, was dismayed by the growing sale of indulgences, and especially the spread of this practice to his homeland of Germany.

The selling of indulgences

For a tidy sum, an indulgence could reduce or cancel your time in purgatory. The funds from the sale of indulgences were to be used for the building of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

This may have been the final straw which led Luther to publicly portray his strong misgivings about the religion in which he was so deeply immersed.

The stone which Martin Luther dropped into the lake of faith that day has continued to ripple ever since – an action which was demonstrably epoch making.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

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Tanka: Intervention

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I knock on the door
No one will ever answer
Seek intervention
but silence reigns in the sky
Connivance rules the dark world

copyright Francis Barker 2019

England’s Heritage: The Collegiate Church of Holy Trinity, Tattershall, Lincolnshire

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The incredibly beautiful 15th century Collegiate Church of Holy Trinity in the village of Tattershall in central Lincolnshire.

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To my mind it is one of the best examples of English Perpendicular architecture anywhere.

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At various times in history, the church has fallen into disrepair but has been restored, even preserving a colony of three species of bats within its structure!

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The major advantage of the massive Perpendicular windows is the great amount of light let in.

words and photographs copyright Francis Barker 2019

England’s Heritage in Photos: Pinchbeck Church of Saint Mary, Lincolnshire

Pinchbeck is a large village in the south of Lincolnshire, which has a very impressive church.

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Pinchbeck church lychgate.

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Older gravestones moved to the side of the graveyard.

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copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019

 

England’s Heritage in Photos: Crowland Abbey Flower Festival, Lincolnshire

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Recently, there was a flower festival in Crowland Abbey church in the extreme south of the county of Lincolnshire. The theme was decades over the past one hundred years.

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Poppies are a special symbol for the British losses during World War One.

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World Cup 1966 – England 4 West Germany 2.

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copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019

 

England’s Heritage in Photos: Crowland Abbey, Lincolnshire – Medieval Survival, Vandalised by Oliver Cromwell

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Crowland Abbey was dissolved in the 1530s during the Reformation, part of Henry VIII’s restructuring of the England church. However, unlike many monasteries at that time, significant parts of the buildings did remain.

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However, during the English Civil War of the 1640s, the rebellious forces of Oliver Cromwell finally took the what remained of the abbey in a siege against the Royalists in 1643. It was at this time that the structure appears to have sustained much more serious damage, as some of the remaining architecture testifies.

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copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019

England’s Heritage in Photos: Castle Bytham church of Saint James, Lincolnshire.

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copyright pictures Francis Barker 2019