Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Walking through history

My recent trip to London took me way back in history - 800 years.
I was also following in the footsteps of one of the most successful authors of recent time.

The Temple Church dates from the Crusades. It was the Headquarters of the Knights Templar, soldier monks who protected pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land. The church was consecrated in 1185 by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, probably in the presence of the king, and it houses the effigies of ten Templar knights including William Marshall Earl of Pembroke.

The epitome of chivalry in his time, he was adviser to four kings of England, which was quite a feat in those days.
If you want to learn more about William, track down Elizabeth Chadwick’s two books The Greatest Knight, and The Scarlet Lion, that bring the story of William’s career to life in vivid detail.

The other thing about the Temple Church is, of course, that it was the site of one of the clues in the Da Vinci code. Except that it wasn't. If you’ve read the book, you know what I mean.
The first time I visited it, years ago, it was a beautiful sunlit morning and I had the place to myself. Now hundreds of people come to look at a site that featured in a best selling book and a block buster film.
Even so, the church still has an aura. It's a special space. But I wonder what the Templars would have made of it all.


Lexie O'Neill said...

If people are only visiting a church because of an anti-church book, the world is a sad place.
I love old churches, and old hymns, and am reading Eusebius right now. Eusebius writes about the martyrs of the early Christian church, and the history of the church in general. When I'm in an old place of worship, I think of and feel the presence of all those who suffered and sang and worshipped and they're there with us.
Hmmm...sorry I waxed poetic, but other things going on in society made me feel like we're going to hell in a handbasket.
I'll stop now,

Evonne Wareham said...

The day I was there the church was busy because it was part of the Flower show. The way the arrangers had celebrated the church, its statues and stained glass was inspiring. And it still had magic. Some spaces, when they have been used for worship for a long time, transcend their volume of visitors, for whatever reason they are there. This one does.

Savanna Kougar said...

Evonne, oh thank you so, so much. This is when I could hop in the ole' portal and visit myself. I've always had a fascination for the Templars long before the Da Vinci Code.
Just from the pics, it does look as if it has that transcendent spiritual aura, whatever your particular belief.

Lexie, why do you say anti-church book? Is church the same as God?

I'm sorry I don't understand. I've always felt God is far more important than any church, no matter how magnificent.

I certainly have to agree, the way the world is going...it ain't good! However, those of us who truly care can use our own spirituality to bring forth the good.

Trish Milburn said...

Sounds like a really interesting trip, Evonne. It must be so fascinating to live in a country with such a long history. Ours is a baby by comparison.