Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Holy Orders Please!

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Holy Orders Please!

Article excerpt


TWO PUBLIC HOUSES During the wartime blitz in the East End of London, the Vicar of St Augustine's, Haggerston was Fr HA Wilson.

Night after night he sheltered with parishioners during the bombing. He often referred to the Parish Church as The Other Public House, adding that Church and Pub were essential elements in a healthy community. They offered places where people could relate, relax and develop. Sadly today I'm told that pubs are closing more quickly than churches.

As you travel around you can see the connection between Church and Pub. Take the Bull at Ambridge. It probably started life as a pilgrims' hostel, run by the local monastery. In early days, it would display outside, the bull, or seal (Latin: bulla) of the religious house. Then in Gloucester, there's the Bell Inn, next to the Cathedral.

Now the Campaign for Real Ale is calling for pub signs to be retained. The sign of The Cross Keys could make you think of St Peter. In Henry VIII's day that name may have changed to The King's Head. Many old inns changed their names if they displayed a sign with a Churchy theme.

Some were called after a feast of the Virgin Mary. The Annunciation, Epiphany and Visitation were common pub names. These were changed to The Flowerpot, The Star and the Salutation respectively.

A good one is The Trip to Jerusalem in Nottingham. The name goes back to the Crusades of the 12th Century. Plans for the Crusade could have been laid in a back room of the pub.

In that period you may find a Turk's Head, a Saracen's Head and The Lamb and Flag. The last was a Christian symbol borne by the Crusaders to represent the Lamb of God waving his flag to celebrate his Resurrection.

ALL TOGETHER NOW I've been singing hymns all week following a programme on Radio 4. They'd set old hymns to familiar tunes. …

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