Tag Archives: Salisbury

Advent Word 2019, Day 13 ‘Water’

#AdventWord #Water

Our living world is powerful, yet even the strongest organism needs water to live. The words of the prophet Isaiah offer images of a shoot rising from a stump and showers watering the earth. These images point us to the sustaining power of water and remind us of the cleansing power of God. In this Advent season, may we prepare to receive the water that quenches every thirst and cleanses all, may we be ready to do good.

The Rev. Chris Girata (VTS ’08) is the rector of St. Michael and All Angels in Dallas, Texas and sits on the VTS Board of Trustees.

The baptismal font at Salisbury Cathedral

Advent Word 2019, Day 11 ‘Confess’

#AdventWord #Confess

Confess: a beautiful two-sided coin. To confess is first to disclose. The work of Advent includes examining our consciences by taking a fearless look at ourselves and naming before God those actions not in order with our Creator’s call on our lives. To confess is equally to profess our deepest beliefs. This too is Advent work, for a people who live in hope, secure in the knowledge that we are forgiven and free in Christ Jesus.

The Right Rev. Scott Barker is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska and is a member of the VTS Board of Trustees.

The Amnesty International Candle in Salisbury Cathedral

Advent Word 2019, Day 6 ‘House’

#AdventWord #House

The prophet Isaiah invites us and ‘all the nations’ to go up to the ‘house of God,’ the place where God dwells (Isaiah 2:2). For the ancient Israelites it was the tabernacle, then the temple. For us the place where God dwells may be the church, or the natural world, or the inner depths of our hearts. It is the place to which we must return to learn to live well.

Br. David Vryhof, SSJE, is a monk, priest, and community Communications Director of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal religious community for men in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Salisbury Cathedral

Stonehenge & Salisbury ~ Wiltshire Wonders of the World!


Y’know, you can’t beat a good ruin!  And Stonehenge, in wonderful Wiltshire, well, that is some ruin.  Possibly the world’s most famous prehistoric monument, constructed between 3000 BC to 2000 BC, possibly originally as a burial ground.  Many of the rocks were brought from as far away as Wales.  They are massive, those rocks, and in 2,500 BC, transporting such huge rocks relied largely on manpower.  And nobody really knows why they are there.  Why did ancient peoples want to construct a stone circle on Wiltshire’s Salisbury Plain?  There’s lots of theories, but nobody knows for sure.  But that only enhances the mystery.   It’s fairly awesome in the best possible way.


And this past Thursday, en route to Salisbury, I had my first ever chance to visit this iconic place.  Gotta keep up with my Taiwan friends, who, if they’ve been on a tour of the UK, will definitely have included a tour to Stonehenge.  Everyone who’s been to the UK has been to Stonehenge, except me, so thought I’d better go!  And truthfully, everyone needs to go once in their lifetime ~ and on a sunny day with blue sky, if possible.  Prepare for a biting cold wind and mud.  Stonehenge is located on the top of a hill after all, it’s very exposed.  And it’s not cheap, but for a once in a lifetime visit, it’s worth it.  Go.  Do it. Marvel. Reflect. Enjoy. And be inspired!

And only 10 or so miles down the road is the cathedral city of Salisbury.  Salisbury has been through a rough time recently, in the News for all sorts of the wrong reasons.  But Salisbury is beautiful.  The cathedral close, Harnham and the old city by the river are lovely.  Also awesome in the best possible way.   With great views of the cathedral from all over the city.



The main part of the cathedral was built between 1220 to 1258, and the spire was added later, and at 123m high, makes it the UK’s tallest cathedral…


So, the cathedral is stunning, and especially on a sunny day.  I was invited by my lovely friend, Becky to come and stay, and she lives in Harnham, within walking distance of the cathedral.  Last time I visited her was in March 2015 and I took the chance then, on my first visit to the cathedral, to do a tower tour (photos here) but this time I just wandered around and around the cathedral, inside and out.  The stewards are really friendly, they encourage visitors to take photos and the cathedral was full of ladies doing the flower arranging in preparation for Sunday.  It was also full of scaffolding and workmen preparing to take the organ away for restoration.  Check out the Amnesty International Candle and the east window, plus the amazing font. And you can’t miss the pigeons!

And it was also still full of the Advent and Christmas illuminations on the theme of ‘From Darkness to Light’, which includes an amazing ‘Lightwave’ outside the cathedral by the west door, it plays music as the lights change colour in sequence.  In the daylight, it looks like white baubles, but at night it comes alive.  In case you’re wondering, all their Christmas decorations and the crib etc are up until Candlemas, February 3.


Wiltshire Wonders of the World, indeed.  Do go if you get a chance ~ it’s my new favourite part of the country!