Mitres and stuff

Reading Bishop Mark’s blog this morning and thinking of dear Fr Kevin in preparation for his installation as Bishop of Argyll and The Isles on Friday made me think of mitres. Bishop Mark mentions that he allowed some children to try on his regalia. I remember when I was a curate at St Ninian’s cathedral in Perth, showing some primary children round the cathedral.  I had them dressed up in chasubles and stoles and was explaining what we wore and why.

Now, the diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane has a very fine bishop’s mitre in the safe (not this pic but very similar). It is very heavy because it is absolutely encrusted with precious stones. It was made for a certain Bishop, whose name escapes me for the moment, who was much beloved and all the ladies of Perthshire handed in their unwanted jewellery for his new mitre.  It lies in a tin box (mitre-shaped) with a piece of paper that explains ‘5 Tay Pearls from Lady Dowager so-and-so’, ‘2 Amethysts from Lady so-and-so’, etc. It really is a work of art.

I thought the children would love to see this and had brought it out for them to ooh and ahh over. “Who wants to try it on?” I cried. Hands shot up all over the place. “NO!” screamed the teacher.  I assured her it was okay really, and I wouldn’t tell.  “NO!” she screamed again. I assured her I would hold on to it while they tried it on. “NO!” again. The she took me aside and spelled out the problem…

N… I… T… S.

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9 thoughts on “Mitres and stuff

  1. With reference to today’s epistle I think the clergy might be advised to follow Matthew 6:19 or they may find themselves excluded when judgement day arrives!

  2. That’s the one! A very handsome man, I believe. I remember once helping a pile of kids on one of those Cathedral Camps to give him a good spit and polish.

    Gordon, but how will he notice us otherwise?!

  3. On one memorable occasion a wise, older teacher saw me lean towards some children with my flyaway hair dangerously close to theirs……… she said not a word, but shook her head.

    Let’s hope the previous wearers of the mitre were not wearers of brylcreem.

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