Saturday, December 13, 2014

Canterbury Cathedral TV review – a quintessential hour of Church of Englandness

From The Guardian-

In its almost 1,500 years as Anglicanism’s mother church, I doubt whether Canterbury Cathedral has witnessed such a quintessential moment of Church of Englandness as we did in the opening episode of the three-part documentary Canterbury Cathedral (BBC2).

It came as the Holy Stitchers, women who meet for two hours on Thursdays to keep the clergy’s various vestments in good repair, meditated on changes wrought by the admittance of women priests. They are all so much shorter than the men that they had to have grievously extensive alterations to the antique robes. “One had to have a foot cut off it,” said one of the ladies. “It can’t go back on again. Joan suggested they should be interviewed by size.” The mixture of laughter and distress, the hint of froideur, spoke directly to the English soul – a moment of perfect communion among the Holy Stitchers, and between them and the viewers. I like to think the ladies spend their downtime making needlepoint samplers to decorate the vestry walls. Perhaps ones that say: “You don’t have to be Anglican to work here, but it helps.”

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