Christ Church, Ill
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Christ Church Winnetka, Illinois
Choir Leader Richard Clemmitt

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Blackpool               The quintessential British seaside experience.  Created in the early 20th Century with the workers from the industrialised North useing their new found holidays to travel to the seaside.  Where else than to the coast in Lancashire and the history of Blackpool as the major seaside resort in the UK was born
The promenade with miles of safe sandy beaches, the Irish sea offering a cool dip in the briny, bracing sea air, three piers, North, Central and South, the trams transporting people from one end of the resort in the North to the other in the South, Kiss me quick hats, seaside rock, candy floss, the fun fare, amusements, the theatre, fish & chips in newspaper and of course the iconic tower modelled on the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Lakes                                    The area holds a special fascination, a jumble of crags and ridges, a labyrinth of lakes and rivers.  This unique combination of spectacular mountains and rugged fells is interspersed by green valleys and mirrored in numerous tarns and meres.  Views that have captured the imagination of the adventurous traveller for over two hundred years.
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Web Link to Lake District National Park

Windermere                        At 10.5 miles Windermere is the longest freshwater lake in England and in that distance its surroundings change from the milder countryside at the South end to the mountainous scenery at the North, where the lake reaches almost to Ambleside.  The shores are thickly wooded, so that when driving round you often have only restricted views of the water from the road.
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Ullsewater                           Three stretches of water make up Ullswaters length, their changes of direction alter the view considerably as you proceed.  All those lofty peaks (Place Fell, Martindale and the High Street Range) round the South, West and East areas of Ullswater make an impressive background to the quiet lake scene.
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Kirkstone Pass                   This is the highest and longest of all the Lake District motor passes and at its summit it is 1,476ft above sea level.
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Chester           A combination of Roman and Medieval relics, as well as many fine timber framed buildings, makes Chester (Roman city of Deva, one of England's most interesting cities.  Roman occupation in the later 1st Century made Chester an important military point.  During most of the Roman occupation it was the headquarters of one of the three Roman legions in Britain.  The present city wall follows the line of the Roman wall and in places incorporates pieces of it.  The most important Roman area is the amphitheatre.  It is the largest amphitheatre so far discovered in Britain.  Built of stone it covers an area of 314ft by 286ft with an arena of 190ft by 162ft.  The rows, a unique feature of the city can be found in Watergate Street, Eastgate Street and Bridge street.  You can inspect modern shops in the appropriate stretches of the streets, take the first flight of stairs you find between shops and find yourself walking on the roofs of the shops besides another row of shops set further back, an interesting form of pedestrian precinct.
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Chester Cathedral                        During Saxon times King Aethelred of Mercia is credited with founding the church of St Peter & St Paul on this sandstone mound.  It is also reported that the bones of Mercian Princess and Nun St Werburgh where bought to the church for safe keeping to be protected from the Danes.  The church being re-dedicated to her.  In 1092 St Anselm from the Benedictine monastery of Bec in Normandy arrived to build a monastery next to the church.  The small Minster containing St Werburgh`s bones was therefore enlarged and became the Abbey Church.  Just prior to the dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540 the bones of St Werburgh were moved to a safe place out of reach of the soldiers of Henry VIII.  Fortunately they were stored very safely, so safe their whereabouts are still unknown to this day.  However during this period of upheaval the Abbey Church came through the reorganisation very well and by 1541 it was designated as the Cathedral Church of the newly formed diocese of Chester and rededicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The Church & Monastery survived the worst of the dissolution process and the buildings we have today are seen as they were intended all those years ago.  The refectory is superb, the cloisters which up-to one hundred years ago were still not glazed, now provide a wonderful oasis in which to walk.  Do look at the quire stalls and misericords, being of wood construction they have weathered far better over the ages than the soft sandstone construction of the building which has needed constant repair.  These original carved workings are certainly a direct link with the monks of the Middle ages and are possibly the Cathedrals greatest treasure.
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Durham            It is not only the lover of architecture who will be thrilled by Durham.  It is one of the most visually exciting cities in Britain.  The magnificent Norman Cathedral and the Castle stand proudly on a sandstone hill almost enclosed by a steep banked wooded bend of the River Wear.  It is a scene well worth looking at from every vantage point.  The best views are obtained from the railway station, Prebends Bridge, South Street, Silesgate and also Palace Green.  The Castle was built in 1069 by the Norman invaders and the town grew up under the Castle walls between the two river crossings at Elvet and Framwellgate.  Durham is not a large city but is a centre of local government and education (Durham University was created as the third university in England by an act of Parliament in 1832)
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Durham Cathedral                        The Cathedral was founded as a shrine for the body of St Cuthbert.  When Viking raids forced the monks on Lindisfarne to flee in 875.  They carried with them the body of the saint, they reached Durham in 995 after time at Chester le Street and Ripon.  In Durham the coffin seemed to become rooted to the ground and the spot for the new shrine was revealed in a vision.  By 998 they had built a church (nothing remains of this early building) it quickly became a place of pilgrimage.  The Bishops became Prince Bishops of Durham giving the city the right to raise armies, own nobility, coinage and courts.  All these privileges were ended in 1836.  The present Cathedral Church of Christ and blessed Mary the Virgin was built between 1093 and 1133 to a plan of Bishop William of Calais.  He died but the work continued under Bishop Flambard.  It is possibly the finest Norman building in Europe.  St Cuthberts body was brought to his shrine behind the high altar in 1104.  The Cathedral was the first in Northern Europe to be covered with stone ribbed vaulting and it has the earliest pointed transverse arches in England.  There are few monuments because of a long held rule that no one should be buried in the shrine of st cuthbert.  From the South side aisle a door leads to the monks dormitory, a great timbered hall 194ft by 39ft where some of the Cathedrals prized possessions can be seen, they include St Cuthberts illuminated manuscripts.  In front of the font is a line of marble, the nearest point that women were allowed to get to the altar.  Almost no amount of time is to long to spend in this unique place of worship. 
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Hadrians wall                 The most important monument built by the Romans in Britain.  It is a world heritage site and is by far the best known frontier in the entire Roman Empire.  Built by order of Emperor Hadrian on his visit to Britain in 122AD.  It took 6 years to build and is 73 miles in length, 15ft high and runs from Wallsend in the East to Bowness on Solway in the West.  It was built to separate the Romans from the Barbarians.  When the Romans left in about 400AD the wall became derelict and stones where used in buildings and walls all, over the area.
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Housesteads Fort  (Vercovicium)            Possibly the remains of the most complete Roman Fort in Britain. Superb position with commanding views all round, spectacular scenery.  See the foundations of the fort, granaries, barrack blocks, hospital, latrines. Excellent views of the wall as it joins the fort.
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Holy Island (Lindisfarne)            Lindisfarne is famed as the birthplace of English Christianity.  A 3 mile causeway connects the island with the mainland at low tide and can be crossed during six hour spells between tides. approx 300 people live on the island, with fishing and tourism the main employment.  In 635 A.D. St Aidan came on the invitation of King Oswald from Iona on the West Coast of Scotland to teach Christianity to the Angles of Northumbria.  Linidsfarne Monastry was established and the first English diocese founded.  The Sixth Bishop was St Cuthbert who came to the island in 664A.D. and was buried here until the monks fled with his coffin ahead of the Danes in 875A.D.  The Danes destroyed the Abbey and the island lay deserted until a Priory was founded by a Benedictine order in the 11th Century. 
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Alnwick     Still looks like a stronghold of the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland.  You may enter from the South through the narrow medieval arch of Hotspur Tower and within moments confront the great barbican guarding the gateway to Alnwick Castle.  Within the town, age speaks for itself from the narrow streets, cobblestones, passageways, sturdy grey buildings and monuments.  The town grew up on the River Aln beside the great border castle whose walls enclose 7 acres.  Below and around the castle are grounds landscaped by Capability Brown in 1765 which now form a beautiful park.  In the town a broad main street with slopping tree shaded cobblestone parking space alongside, passes near a market square.  A free standing 18th Century hall has an arcade for shops on the ground floor and assembly rooms above.  A very interesting town steeped in history and the ravages of this wild border country.
The town name
pronounced Annick, situated on the River Aln from which it gets its name, which in turn derives from the Celtic word Alaun meaning holy or mighty.  Wick means a farm, outlying from a main settlement.  The earliest known record or the River Aln is in the Venerable Bedes, ecclesiastical history of the English people written in Latin and dated 731, it appears as Fluuium Alne.
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Alnwick Castle     The main seat of the Duke of Northumberland. this great border castle whose walls enclose 7 acres of park has survived many battles during its chequered history.  Below and around the castle are grounds landscaped by Capability Brown in 1765 which now form a beautiful park.  The castle was begun by the Vesci family in the early 12th Century.  When the last legitimate member of the family line died in 1297 the castle was held in trust by the then Bishop of Durham who subsequently sold it on to Henry Percy in 1309.   The family Percy eventually became Dukes of Northumberland and have lived here ever since.  Outwardly the castle has altered little since the 14th Century.  However it was severely damaged during the border wars and stood as a ruin for nearly 200 years before the 1st Duke restored it in the 18th Century.  Some of the state rooms in the castle are open to the public displaying superb paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, Canaletto & Van Dyck.  Augmented by collections of Meissen pottery and superb furniture the fine library is the largest room in the castle and the main staircase exquisite.
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Alnwick Castle Gardens    The rose garden with over 2,000 roses, the grand cascade linking over 120 water jets into a display utilising 7,000 gallons of water per minute. Ornamental Garden, woodland walk and much more as this garden opened only very recently begins to grow.
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Venerable Bede           Born probably in 673.  In 670 he was sent school in Monkwearmouth but stayed only two years before being sent to Jarrow in 672.  He loved knowledge and found the libraries of St Pauls fascinating.  He enjoyed astronomy, numbers, Latin and wrote the life of St Cuthbert.  He also wrote a famous history book.  The first of its kind about the English Church and People.  He also loved the Bible and was working on St Johns Gospel when he died on may 25th 735.  He was 62 years old.  He was buried in Jarrow.  During the 11th Century his bones were stolen and brought to Durham.  At the time they were put in the same coffin as St Cuthbert.  However in the 13th Century they were separated and brought to a new tomb in the Galilee Chapel also in Durham Cathedral.
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St. Pauls Church, Jarrow            The Parish Church of St Pauls Jarrow has been a place of worship for 13 Centuries.  The Church & Monastery was built on land given by King Ecgfrith of Northumbria in 681AD.  The Chancel of St Pauls is the original Saxon Church built as a separate Chapel and thus offers at least a relic of Bede`s time.  Much of the cut stone is Roman, do look for the three single splayed Saxon windows, the middle one containing Saxon stained glass made in the monastic workshops, it was excavated from the site in 1980 and inserted here in the Chancel.  Reputedly the oldest such glass in Western Europe.  The Monastery where Bede came as a boy thrived in the 7th & 8th Centuries.  Outside the church are the remains of the domestic buildings of that monastery, it was here that he lived, worked and worshipped.  The buildings where sacked by the Vikings in 794AD. It was not until 1074 that the church was repaired by the Normans and the Monastery re-founded by Aldwin, Prior of Winchcombe Abbey in Gloucestershire.  Do look for the original dedication stone of 685 (above the Chancel arch) supposedly the oldest in England.  Although St Martins Church Canterbury does predate Jarrow by maybe 100 years and therefore holds the honour of oldest church in England.
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