A Day Trip to Lichfield

On October 8th 2009, a bright and sunny morning (weren't we fortunate) and after celebrating the10.00am Mass, three parishioners and Father Paul drove to St. Chad's Church in Cheadle to meet up with parishioners from that parish. As part of the local LPA we were to drive by coach to Lichfield in Staffordshire where we would visit the Cathedral Church of the Virgin Mary and St. Chad, the patron of our Local Pastoral Area. Free time was built into the daily schedule in order to allow us time to see something of the town of Lichfield.

Various views of the Cathedral Church of the Virgin Mary and St. Chad 

Stonemason at work on restoration

The coach departed St. Chad's 5 minutes early at 10.55am arriving in Lichfield at 12.45pm which was a little later than scheduled.

 We were then free to explore the town and the cathedral surrounds and maybe take in some lunch before re-grouping at the front of the cathedral in readiness for our guided tour.

                                                       

The streets of Lichfield

Lichfield (http://www.visitlichfield.co.uk) being known as the town of the three Philosophers, your reporter, after having lunch in a local hostelry decided to take in a visit to the House of Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin. (http://www.erasmusdarwin.org)  This was quite fascinating and it was obvious from the knowledge and interests that Erasmus had that this must have a had a great influence on Charles, who however never met his grandfather.

 

                   

Erasmus Darling's House and exhibits

Doctor Samuel Johnson was also born in Lichfield - a town which obviously has a rich cultural heritage.

http://www.samueljohnson.com/briefbio.html

Shortly before 3.30pm we all assembled for the cathedral tour which proved to be very interesting and our guide drew our attention to many of the interesting features to be seen - perhaps the most interesting was 'The Lichfield Angel'. 

"Discovered in 2003, during the excavation of the east end of Lichfield Cathedral’s nave, the Lichfield Angel is a remarkable survival of early medieval sculpture. The carved limestone panel, which is dated to around 800 A.D., comprises three separate fragments which are thought to have formed the corner of a shrine chest, possibly that of St Chad (d.672), whose remains were reburied in a church on the site in the late seventh to early eighth centuries. The assembled pieces, which feature the finely carved figure of an alighting archangel, retain a unprecedented amount of their original painted decoration." 

http://www.lichfield-cathedral.org/inspires/cathedral-treasures/the-lichfield-angel

 

Following upon the tour we had about an hour in which to have a cup of tea or coffee before again regrouping at the cathedral to participate in Sung Evensong.

We re-boarded the coach promptly at 6.30pm to make our way home, where we arrived back at St. Chad's in Cheadle at about 8.15pm.

Everyone was of the opinion that it had been a wonderful day out and our thanks must go to those at St. Chad's who organised this event.