On a beautiful spring day in Washington, DC, nearly one hundred supporters attended the annual “Lincoln Lecture and Luncheon” at a historic private club near Dupont Circle. The keynote speaker was The Very Reverend Christine Wilson, 84th Dean of Lincoln, and the first female to be appointed by HM the Queen as Dean of Lincoln. Dean Wilson was installed as Dean at Lincoln Cathedral in the ancient church ritual in the autumn of 2016.
Supporters of the Lincoln Cathedral Foundation (LCF) USA, feted the grand gothic structure and its survival for over 900 years. Medieval Lincoln Cathedral was the result of the move of the See of Dorchester to the new city location at Lincoln at the decision of William the Conqueror in 1072. With the completion of the central spire in 1311, the Cathedral stood as the tallest building in the world for over 200 years until the spire’s collapse in 1549. Through wars and earthquakes Lincoln Cathedral has stood witness to the history of England and has endured the ravages of time through careful restoration made possible by generous donors including the Lincoln Cathedral Foundation.
Close ties with America are illustrated by the religious dissenters from Lincolnshire, known as the Separatists, who populated the “Mayflower”. Many attendees of the event were descendants of those who, centuries ago, worshipped at Lincoln Cathedral, before migrating to America. Early explorers of North America, like Captain John Smith, a founder of Virginia, were also from Lincolnshire.
Additionally, our brave American flyers in World War II flew on D-Day from English air bases situated on the flat coastal land of Lincolnshire, which abuts the North Sea. It is indeed symbolic that Lincoln Cathedral’s ecclesiastical colour for their robes is the blue of the Royal Air Force uniform. Blue hydrangea table centerpieces echoed that colour theme.
Lincoln Cathedral owns one of the four original copies of Magna Carta (1215). Its copy was loaned to the Library of Congress in Washington for the 2015 commemoration of the document’s sealing at Runnymede over 800 years ago. Lincoln Cathedral also has in its collection one of two surviving copies of the Charter of the Forest, a subsequent document to Magna Carta which was sealed in 1217. It was the Charter of the Forest which gave many rights to the common man.
The Very Reverend Christine Wilson, Dean of Lincoln, is known warmly as “Dean Christine”. Her lecture and accompanying power-point presentation, intrigued the audience with its content and visual aspect. Her topic included the history of the founders and builders of the iconic Gothic Cathedral and their commitment to faith and sacrifice. Besides Dean Wilson and her husband, Alan, attendees from England included Mr and Mrs John Lockwood, MBE, active Lincoln Cathedral Chapter members and supporters.
Darci Balland Knowles chaired the annual event supported by committee members, LCF board members, and advisors.
Written by Brantley B Knowles