The ‘Papist Way’

October 14, 2007

Today, I was out for a walk in the countryside and found myself walking down ‘Papist Way’. Relax friends. I’m not converting. This is Papist Way, Cholsey, near Wallingford, Oxfordshire. It’s just one of those little reminders of our nation’s troubled religious history.

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That’s one of the things I have appreciated about living in Oxford for the last 10 years or so – a sense of connectedness with the past, however complicated and messy that past was at times. In the space of a few minutes you can pass the forbidding walls of Balliol College where John Wyclif preached against the power of the papacy, the cross marking the spot where Latimer, Ridley, and later Cranmer were burned for their belief in the once-for-all-time sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice, and the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin where John Henry Newman tried to seduce the Church of England back into error (the extent to which he succeeded we can talk about another time).  On a lighter note there is the Inklings’ favourite pub, The Eagle and Child. C.S. Lewis spent a lot of time there and is said to have kept a pair of slippers behind the bar. I will have to blog some Oxford things for the benefit of those readers not fortunate enough to live in this fine city.

Anyway, I saw the sign and thought I’d take a photo. I suspect that had John Bunyan been with me, he would have enjoyed pointing out the fact that it was overgrown with thorns…

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