stepping stones of truth

A journey along the path of life - the stones can be rough, smooth or even wobbly!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Your starter for ten......



What have St Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai and this tiny chapel in the middle of Dorset got in common?

Remote locations? Yes, I will give you that – just.

A long history? Yes, I suppose so. Though this church at Toller Fratrum was rebuilt later, it dates from 12th century. The name 'fratrum' comes from the Latin for 'brother'. The brothers in question being the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, or Knights Hospitallers founded in 11th Century who owned the area in Medieval times.

Designation to an unusual saint? Yes, not many St Catherine’s churches around (but they are nearly all on hilltops in England, strange eh?) This is one of three in the whole of England dedicated to St Basil, who is honoured as one of the greatest saints in churches in the East. Getting warmer!

The answer is ikons!

Remember in the previous post I said that St Catherine’s had a unique collection? (and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site too). Well, there has been a swelling of interest in ikons in the Church of England, mainly due to the rather unconventional enthusiasm of Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. In fact he has written two books on the subject. As of 1st January, Toller Fratrum has an ikon of St Basil, which was suitably hallowed by the Bishop of Sherborne.

I know all this because a friend is the Ikonographer at Exeter Cathedral who “wrote” the ikon of St Basil, and also several for various cathedrals and one for the Archbishop of Canterbury himself.



Just thought you may be interested - "not many people know that"....

5 Comments:

At 5:02 pm, Blogger David Barltrop said...

Fascinating. I like ikons, really interesting things. I remember a girl in the painting department on my degree course who did nothing but, except she gave them a bit of a surreal twist, quite humorous.

 
At 8:17 pm, Blogger David said...

Didn't your friend also paint them on the head of a pin? Or did I dream that bit?

 
At 9:05 pm, Blogger Val said...

Haha, that's angels isnt it? Or have you been having THOSE dreams again? The smallest he has got is a tiny pebble, but I wouln't like to sew with it or mend a camel...now I am getting confused.....

 
At 11:57 am, Blogger Sonia said...

Hi Val, thank you so mcuh for your visit on my page and your nice compliment. I will return soon to look at your blog!

 
At 10:02 pm, Blogger David Barltrop said...

No, David. She didn't used to paint them on the head of a pin.

 

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