There are so many of them in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland that people may actually become inured by them. Acclimatized. They are just part of the everyday tone of living within the Mother-of-the-Commonwealth. Perhaps sometimes they are not always seen for what they are just because they have become so familiar.
Hapless Americans, however, who happen upon them by accident might be almost bowled over. This happened when friend Rosie's Ted was walking with me, and we wandered past the magnificent Southwark Cathedral. We could not just continue our wander. No. We had to enter. No magnet could have been any more powerful as we were drawn through those doors and found ourselves inside the eldest of all the Cathedrals in the land. It was awesome.
Southwark Cathedral, London
Most cathedrals are the oldest buildings in continuous use in their environments. They are truly priceless, if you were to add up the monetary value of each: it would be astronomical. But the value is in so much more than pounds and pence, dollars and cents. The spiritual importance of a Cathedral within the community is immeasurable. I can't begin to understand all that is accomplished by those who serve within the system that draws its center from a Cathedral, but I can, and do, appreciate it.
Much more will be said as the weeks pass; this is only a start. It will be terrific to make my acquaintance with any number of them once I have landed there. Oh - and wouldn't it be splendid to meet an actual Bishop, or two? I wonder if one of them will be preaching.
I must check! This is getting exciting.
See you along the way!
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37804979@N00/5137457022">Southwark Cathedral 3</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>