1st Congregational

Ascension, AL
Dr Cheryl White
St Thomas, CT
St John, NM
1st Congregational
Holy Spirit, PA
Westminster, NY
St Marks, WA
Immanuel & St Peters
St Johns, VA
Christ Church, MI
Good Shepherd, KY
Calvary, TN
St Bart's, NY
Metropolitan, ON



First Congregational Church, Columbus, OH
Choir Director Kevin Jones

Norwich                                  A beautiful city and the Capital of Norfolk.  The site of the city so important as it developed within a large double bend in the River Wensum.  After the Norman conquest both the castle and the cathedral were built, two focal points that remain until this day.  The great stone keep of the castle dates back to 1160 and except for the Tower of London must rate as one of the best surviving examples of Norman military architecture in the country.  90 feet square and over 70 feet in height.  The city centre is dotted with important historic buildings, the Guildhall built between 1407-1413, the Assembly House in Theatre Street 1754, Bridewell Museum 1370, Strangers Hall is Mid 15th Century, plus approximately 30 surviving churches all Medieval and many of exceptional interest.  In Medieval times Norwich also had one of the largest Jewish communities in England.  Wealthy merchants and money lenders living in the city built superb houses some of which exist to this day, one example being the old music house in King Street which is 12th Century.  Norwich-the place name means Northern specialised place with the Olde English wic meaning town or port. the town was recorded as Northwic during the early part of the 10th Century.  In the Doomsday book it is recorded as Noruic.

Norwich Cathedral                 A fine Norman Cathedral built under the direction of Bishop De Josinga in 1096.  When he died in 1119 he was buried in the chancel and the work continued until the finished building was consecrated in 1278.  The Norman plan, which incidentally is the only one to survive in this country, featured a Bishops Throne at the East end, in an apse behind the altar.  It is suggested the throne is approx 1000 years old which if confirmed would make it the oldest Bishops Throne in any English Cathedral.  The nave has a superb roof with close on 800 roof bosses.  Outside the building there are an array of Norman flying buttresses which were needed to support this huge burden.  The spire is the second highest in England at 315 feet (Salisbury is the highest) was added in the late 15th Century by Goldwell.
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Peterborough                       A prosperous city and an important market town.  In its centre is the market place where the Guildhall, built in 1671, dominates.  Nearby is St John the Baptist’s Church built in 1402.  The best Georgian houses are in Priestgate on the corner of which is the three storied Angel Hotel.  The Town Hall in Bridge Street was built in the 1930s in a mock Georgian style.
Peterborough: first mentioned in a document of 750 as Medeshamstedi Anglos Saxon settlement probably meaning homestead by the whirlpool.  Two hundred years later the settlement was destroyed by the Danes but was rebuilt in the 10th Century.  In the Doomsday book the place was simply known as Burg.  However a document of the 12th Century defines the name as Medeshamstede qui Modo Burgdicitur (taking the meaning to be Medeshampstead which is now only called Buirg) by 1333 the city became known as “petreburgh” 
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Peterborough Cathedral                       Founded as a monastery by King Peada of Mercia in 655.  Destroyed by the Danes in 870 and re-founded by King Edgar over 100 years later.  Hereward the Wake attacked and plundered it about 1070 and approx 40 years later it was completely destroyed by fire.  The present church was begun in 1118 and the church was dedicated in 1238.  The building is of Barnack stone, 481 feet long by 206 feet wide and approx 81 feet high with the tower reaching 143 feet into the heavens.  The nave is a superb example of Norman architecture dating from the second half of the 12th Century.  The painted wooden ceiling is unique in all England and dates back to 1220.  In the retrochoir the ceiling has magnificent fan vaulting and the “hedda stone” an important piece of Anglo-Saxon sculpture dating from about 800.  In front of the retrochoir are two burial places one the tomb of Catherine of Aragon first Queen of Henry VIII who was buried here in 1536.  The second tomb was that of Mary Queen of Scots buried here in 1587. However her son James I had her body removed and reburied in Westminster Abbey in 1612.  Henry VIII founded and endowed the Kings school where the future choristers were to be educated. 
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Lincoln                        The most ancient part of this historic city occupies a rugged hill top rising over 200 feet above the river Witham.  Evidence has been found of occupation by Celtic people who called the settlement Lindon.  On the arrival of the Roman IXth legion in A.D.47 the name was Latinised to Lindum Colonia.  Geographical position, elevation and the river all helped to make Lincoln an important centre even from those pre Roman days.  Roman Lincoln had fine colannaded streets and elaborate public baths, also drinking water supplied in earthenware pipes under pressure from over one and a half miles away.  When the Romans departed they left behind a road and canal system, sewers, working farms and a wealth of tiles and stone.  During the Anglo-Saxon times, Lincoln was a part of the kingdom of Mercia.  With the arrival of the Danes Lincoln became a part of the Danelaw where streets like Saltergate, Danesgate & Hungate bear witness (similar to York)  The Normans made Lincoln one of the most important cities in the kingdom.  The castle was built in 1068 just 2 years after the Battle of Hastings.  The city is full of wonderful buildings, cobb hall 14th Century, a fine Norman house at 15 The Stait.  The castle square some lovely 16th Century buildings, Greyfriars a 13th Century building originally designed as a Church (now the museum) the list is endless.  The city is now a busy place providing employment to many thousands in the engineering industry.

Lincoln Cathedral        The third largest in England occupying approx 57,000 sq ft. the original building was started in 1072 and fully built by 1092 but after a great fire and of all things an earthquake a new Cathedral was started in 1192 built in the English style and today we see it as the triple towered cathedral church of St Mary.  An important feature of the Cathedral is the arcade designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1674 which was the year he started the rebuilding of St Pauls.
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Lincoln Castle                Founded by William the Conqueror in 1068, built to be a invulnerable stronghold.  The battlemented castle is most impressive.  The enclosed area encompasses approx 6 acres with lawns and trees. The walls are 8 to 10ft thick and double that amount in height.  Two great detached mounds on the South side are the observatory tower, with great views of Lincoln and the uprights of the Norman keep.  Cobb Hall was added in the 14th Century to be used as a place of punishment.  One can still see the iron rings to which prisoners where fastened to.  The roof of the tower was a place of public execution till 1868.  One of the original copies of Magna Carta is still kept here.  One other interesting feature to look out for within the passage of the castle gateway is all that is left of the Eleanor Cross.  This was positioned close the priory where the body of Eleanor of Castile, the wife of Edward the 1st was embalmed before starting on its famous journey South to Westminster Abbey. This, the first of the crosses erected at each resting place of her body on its funeral procession from Nottinghamshire to the Capital.  The last one at Charing Cross in London where the body lay on the final night before burial at the Abbey.

Burghley House                   The largest & grandest house of the first Elizabethan age. built between 1565 & 1587 by William Cecil.  The house is still a family home yet full of superb paintings and antiques, a treasure to feast upon.  The art collection is one of the most impressive 17th Century Italian painting collections in the world, with over 300 great works on display in the state rooms, which also includes work by Gainsborough, Kneller and Lawrence.  The tour will allow access to over 18 state rooms filled with superb porcelain from all over Europe and a collection of early Japanese ceramics, together with furniture of the highest quality including a bed once used by Queen Victoria.  Try and find time to wander in the grounds, acres of park land, originally landscaped by Capability Brown.  Mature trees and plenty of space for the youngsters to let off some steam.
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York                                           The fascinating townscape of this walled city illustrates much of its nearly 2,000 years history.  York possesses in its Minster the largest medieval church in Northern Europe, the general scale of its building is small and human.  Even today York seems more medieval than almost any other English town.  The compact core is a treasure house for anyone interested in history, architecture or ancient crafts, and is best seen on foot.  The Romans called the place Eboracum, and built a fort in AD.71.  Under the Angles, York was capital of their Kingdom of Deira.  King Edwin was baptised here by Paulinus, who became the first Archbishop of York in 634.  The Danes captured and burnt York in 867 and it was their capital in England for nearly 100 years, they called it Jorvik and it is from this that the present name derives.  There is nothing left to see of Anglo Saxon and Danish York, but the use of the word gate for street is a reminder that the Danes did settle here.  The Norman's found a thriving little trading centre and burnt it in 1069 during their frightful ravaging of the North, and then rebuilt the walls, expanding them to take the present 263 acres.  Medieval York is everywhere, not least in the web of narrow streets.  The Shambles and Stonegate are two of the best preserved examples.  Too the East of the Minster is the half timbered St William's College.  Three of the nine Guildhalls still survive.  All the city walls are medieval rebuilt on the Roman and Norman foundations in the 13th Century.  A 2.5 mile footpath on the walls gives a circular tour of the city.  In the middle ages, York was England's second city a great religious and commercial centre.  A lovely city with much to see and enjoy.
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Web Link to Historic York

York Castle (Cliffords tower)     In 1068 William the Conquer built 2 Motte & Bailey castles in York.  Both where later destroyed by a Danish fleet helped by the people of York. Eventually William rebuilt the two castles and the mound on which now stands Cliffords Tower became a part of the main fortress.  However except for the tower very little of the original castle now exists.  The tower was built between 1245 & 1272 and has been the scene of many historical events.  It is reported that the rebel leader Robert Aske was allegedly hung from the walls in chains and starved to death.  The tower also played its part in the Civil War siege of York in 1644.  Then between 1825 & 1935 it was used as a prison.  But its most infamous historical reference is the Jewish massacre of March 1190, when an estimated 150 Jews, the entire Jewish Community of York, Died after taking refuge in the Royal Castle.

Jorvik Museum                      This museum is like no other museum, the actual building is on the site of an archaeological dig, the journey you take is around the actual remains below street level, exactly where the old city of York was built
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York Minster                    The Minster is York's chief glory, appropriate to the dignity of an Archbishopric, built between 1220 and 1470, it contains England's greatest concentration of medieval stained glass, principally from the 13th and 14th Centuries.  The two most famous windows being the five sisters and the magnificent 15th Century east window, the largest in the world.  The Ministers length is 518ft and is 241ft wide at the transept.  The central tower rises 198ft and is the largest lantern tower in Britain.  The 14th Century Chapter House with seven lovely window walls has no central support for its conical roof, just the great buttresses on the eight sides.  The Choir was completed by 1400 and its great climax the east window with 2,000 sq ft of ancient glass by John Thornton of Coventry was finished in 1408, the massive towers came last.
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Stamford                                            This quiet town built largely of mellowed local stone has a long and historic background.  In Danish times it was the selected capital of the Fens area and one of the original five Boroughs of the Danelaw.  The town charter was granted by Henry III in 1254 but received quite allot of damage during the Wars of the Roses in the 15th Century.  The town does have the finest collection of Medieval Churches of any small town in England and really does try to keep them all open;  St Mary, St George, St Martin and All Saints together with excellent examples of Queen Anne Houses and Georgian Mansions.
The town also as a profusion of groups of Almshouses (provided for old people) known locally as “Callises” these where built by rich wool merchants.
The oldest building in
Stamford is St Leonard’s Priory founded in the 7th Century by Wilfred Bishop of York.
Daniel Lambert supposedly the biggest Englishman ever is buried in St Martins Churchyard he died in 1839 and at the time of his death he was 5ft 11inches tall, with a waist of 9feet 4inches but weighed 53 stone.
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Churches of Stamford      Stamford is blessed with no less than 5 Medieval Churches still open, (there were 17 originally). The largest concentration of Medieval Churches in the UK.
All Saints’ Church:
  parts dating back to 12th Century
St George’s Church:
  built in the 15th Century
St Johns the Baptish Church:  parts date back to the 12th Century, the tower is the oldest standing part with the main church completed by 1451
St Marys Church:
  built before the 12th Century with the tower added in the 13th Century and the spire in the 14th Century
St Martins Church:  founded in 12th Century and rebuilt in the 15th Century
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