Saturday, August 13, 2005


York was an overnight stop, with most of one day and half of the next to spend; money, that is! I found York to be the most tourist-oriented place we had visited so far. Edinburgh was about equal, but I didn't know that yet... In one corner of the Walled City, however, you can find an amazingly beautiful cathedral, standing larger than life as the famous York Minster. Most of us took a guided tour, in three smaller groups, and mine was led by a delightful woman. There was too much to see in just an hour, or even two or three, but we got an overall impression with quite a few interesting details and stories.

We had an important reason for stopping in York, and that was to meet, and have a workshop with, Andrew Carter. We spent about 2 hours listening, questioning, singing, responding and learning. He was extremely personable and enjoyable, and it was so interesting getting to know someone whose music we have been singing for years. As a surprise, he asked Richard Shephard to stop in, which he did, and he led us in his own Preces and Responses, which we had memorized singing in St. Paul's three of the six evenings. After the workshop he graciously spent quite a bit of time signing CD inserts from his recordings, and even complimented me by recalling I was "that terrific alto in the front row ..." :0)

York Sir Richard's UP

Statue inside the Richard the 3rd shop.

york roofs UP

Interesting walls and rooflines were everywhere in York.

Minster through trees UP

The Minster from behind, taken from atop the old wall.

York wall stone UP

One of many beautiful stones in the old wall. The plaque is clearly dated, and was placed to thank the people who made restorations possible.

York back UP

Another back view of the Minster. Believe me, I had to work to get photos with no scaffolding in view!

old wall UP

A portion of the old wall.

york organ UP

The gorgeous organ of the Minster.

York cat and mouse UP

Detail showing the whimsy of the carvers. The cat on the left looks pretty hungry, so the mouse on the right better keep going!

York dragon UP

I'm always on the lookout for dragons, and there is quite a large one in the Minster. Interestingly, they are not sure what it's purpose was, although they seemed sure that it was used for something, not simply ornamental. The explanation we got, based on bracing and supports behind the walls, is that it was a hook of sorts, used to raise something heavy from the floor, or not far off. The guess is that it was an extremely ornate baptismal font lid. This made sense to me, as I've seen some in England which are absolutely huge, 6 to 8 feet tall.

York ceiling UP

A portion of the ceiling.

Minster entrance UP

The south transcept windows. The ceiling of this transcept served as Andrew Carter's inspiration for "Benedicite", a work we presented in Third Presbyterian Church, that included the Junior Choir (3-6 graders), Glorious Things (1-2 graders) and other children. The ceiling burned in 1983 (I think that was the year) and was rebuilt, including bosses (decorative pieces placed at beam intersections) created by children, and having the theme of all creation praising God.

Andrew Carter UP

Andrew Carter in our workshop (most of my time, and card space, was taken up with movies of his talks).


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