Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Bede`s World

I know it`s hard to believe today but there was a time when Jarrow, under St Bede (672-735), was at the cutting edge of learning in theology, history and science. Jarrow hasn`t forgotten and in 1983 there was created a visitor attraction `Bede`s World` which celebrated the Christian and Benedictine heritage of the North East. School parties would go and dress as monks to learn about the life and see the recreation of a Saxon settlement and farm. Adjacent is the church of St Paul, attached to Bede`s monastery,  whose chancel dates to 681 and in which there are pieces of Saxon of stained glass.I had thought of organising a Latin Mass in the church as they seemed open to the idea). It offered an interesting introduction to the Catholic and Saxon heritage of the North East to its visitors. (However I could never understand why the otherwise faithful display of the monastic horarium made no mention of Mass.)
It was a good place to take visitors. 

Sadly on Friday last week it shut its doors. This was a surprise as it came without warning. A funding shortage was blamed. A campaign has begun to save it. I hope they succeed. Even Billy Bragg wants to save it.

The other Bragg, Melvyn,  has said;

 “What is totally depressing and gives no service at all to this generation and offers a bleak inheritance to the next generation and for generations to come is the regularity of hundreds of years with which London has kicked the North in the teeth.”

There`s a petition to sign too.


  1. Thank you for the head's-up, Father: I have signed.

  2. Me too although I never seemed to find time to go there until we had a visiting American priest friend who (to my shame) knew infinitely more about St Bede than I did!!


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