Cirencester Travel Blog› entry 19 of 27 › view all entries
In the Cotswolds area we stayed on a dairy farm (Note: we weren't sharing bedspace with cows. It was a B&B on a house situated on a dairy farm).
From there we visited Oxford, which we loved. The look and feel of the city was great, but it was the history that captivated us the most. To think of the many great thinkers that had studied here, and the wonderful ideas that were formulated in libraries, colleges, parks and pubs. We ate in the pub where CS Lewis, Tolkien and other writers used to drink while discussing their latest works. We passed by the shop where a young girl called Alice used to buy her sweets (the same young Alice that was the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland). We wandered through Christ Church College, where the Wesley brothers were ordained, and stood at the pulpit of St Mary the Virgin church where John Wesley preached some of his more famous sermons such as "Circumcision of the Heart".
The next day we explored Bath, a small-ish city with a rich history involving coronations, monks and litres of mineral spring water with supposed healing powers. We tasted some of the famous water (blurgh) and had a quick look at the interesting architecture and town planning. We also looked in Bath Abbey, which was a welcome reprieve from some of the other cathedrals we'd been in. We've noticed that throughout the UK, the cathedrals and old churches are all beautifully crafted and interesting from a historical point of view. But there is a great deal of variance in how they interpret their role in the community and how they express their Christian heritage. Some seem to be nothing more than glorified museums with more statues, pictures and shrines paying homage to saints than statues, pictures and shrines paying homage to Jesus! Some however - like Bath Abbey - maintain their beauty and historic significance but still manage to clearly communicate the gospel to the visitors.
We also visited Stonehenge, and gazed quizzically at these rocks in a field.
While driving around that day we passed through a tiny town called "Box", and couldn't help noticing prominent signs on the road announcing that Nicky Gumble would be speaking there that night. (Nicky Gumble is the guy on the Alpha teaching DVDs, a well-known speaker in the UK and pastor of HTB in London). So we went along! We were even asked by the organiser of the event to act as fire wardens, as we happened to be standing near the fire exit. It was a pretty random experience - to be listening to Nicky Gumble in a tiny town called Box and to be responsible for getting people out if something blew up or similar.