Blackfriars, Oxford

I first discovered this beautiful, simple monastic chapel when I attended Fr Simon Tugwell OP’s lectures on the English mystics while I was a student at Oxford.

Whenever I visit England, if I make it to Oxford I always spare a  moment to pray in this simple, austere sacred space.

The chapel features nothing but the splendid window set against the creamy Cotswold stone of which Oxford is built. The only ornaments are where they should be: on the altar.

The rich altar frontal, the ancient candlesticks and the light streaming in enrich the perfect counterpoise of light and stone.

And that is the Catholic faith: a perfect counterpoise of light and stone: The hard, timeless stone of doctrine and discipline contain and communicate the ineffable presence of the One we Adore –He who is Light from Light.