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Except for a few reprinted old documents, articles on this site are copyrighted by the author, and may not be reprinted without permission. You are, however, free to link to any article or page on this site without prior permission although it's nice to know who's linking to us.

Bill Samuel, August 4, 2002
Bill Samuel
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Quaker Tour of England, Page 20 of 22
Norwich

[Norwich Cathedral-outside view)[Norwich Cathedral-inside view)
Norwich Cathedral  photos by Bill Samuel, 27-28 June 1998
[Mother Julian pane at Norwich Cathedral]
Mother Julian pane
at Norwich Cathedral
photo by Bill Samuel, 28 June 1998

Norwich Cathedral

Norwich Cathedral, officially named The Cathedral of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, is a magnificent Norman building with the second tallest cathedral spire in England. The foundation stone of the cathedral was laid in 1096, and the bulk of the cathedral was complete by 1145. Much of it remains in its 12th century form.

[Mother Julian's Church, Norwich]
Mother Julian's Church, Norwich
photo by Bill Samuel, 28 June 1998
[Mother Julian's Cell]
Mother Julian's Cell
photo by Bill Samuel, 28 June 1998

Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich (1342-c. 1429) was a mystic and the first woman to write a book in English. We don't know her name before she took the name Julian, and we're not sure exactly when she died.

When she was 30, Julian became seriously ill. Two days after she received the Last Rites of the Church, she was granted a series of 15 visions which opened to her mystical depths of understanding about God, the Holy Trinity, the crucified Lord, and the life of Christians. Almost immediately after these visions, which occurred over a period of 11 hours, she fully recovered. The following evening, she received one final vision.

After that experience, Julian became an anchoress and lived in a small cell (or anchorhold) attached to the parish church of St. Julian in Norwich. An anchoress was a woman called to a solitary life, but one anchored in the world rather than cut off from it. She lived a life of prayer and contemplation, and gave spiritual advice to those that sought her out.

During her life as an anchoress, Julian recorded her revelations in a book called Revelations of Divine Love. Julian's writings remained obscure and generally unavailable until they were finally published in 1901. In the 20th century, her book has become a devotional classic read and appreciated by a wide assortment of Christians, including many Friends (Quakers).

While the world around her suffered great plagues, wars, and the schism of the Church in England, Julian remained focused on the nurturing of God's love, a love like that of a tender, loving mother. She felt that there is no wrath in God, but this is is a perception of our own wrath upon him. She did not make a big division between body and soul, finding God in our "sensuality" as well as in our "substance." She felt that knowledge of God and knowledge of self are inseparable; we cannot know one without the other.

Today, the church to which Julian's cell was attached is a shrine to her. In 1982, the Order of Julian of Norwich was founded as a contemplative monastic order in the Episcopal Church.

Writings by and about Julian in Print

Julian of Norwich: Showing of LoveJulian of Norwich: Showing of Love, edited by Julia Bolton Holloway, Liturgical Press, 2003

Julian of Norwich ShowingsJulian of Norwich Showings, edited by James Walsh, Jean LeClerq and Edmund Colledge, Paulist Press, 1988

Revelations of Divine LoveRevelations of Divine Love, by Julian of Norwich, Penguin Classics, 1999

Encounter with God's LoveEncounter with God's Love: Selected Writings of Julian of Norwich, edited by Keith Beasley-Topliffe and Timothy Jones, Upper Room, 1998

Julian of Norwich: Autobiography and TheologyJulian of Norwich: Autobiography and Theology, by Christopher Abbott, Boydell & Brewer, 1999

The Life and Text of Julian of NorwichThe Life and Text of Julian of Norwich: The Poetics of Enclosure, by M. Diane F. Krantz, Peter Lang Publishing, 1997

Praying with Julian of NorwichPraying with Julian of Norwich, by Gloria Durka, St. Mary's Press, 1995

Gifted Origins to Graced Fulfillment: The Soteriology of Julian of NorwichGifted Origins to Graced Fulfillment: The Soteriology of Julian of Norwich, by Kerrie Hide, Liturgical Press, 2001

Julian of Norwich and the Mystical Body Politic of ChristJulian of Norwich and the Mystical Body Politic of Christ, by Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt, University of Notre Dame Press, 1999


The Julian of Norwich, Her Showing of Love and Its Contexts, Website - Internet version of the Julian Library Portfolio, a collection of booklets which began as a series of lectures given to Quakers on medieval mystics.

This page covers nonQuaker highlights of Norwich. The Quaker highlight is Earlham Hall, covered in the next page.

Quakers in Norwich

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12. Cartmel
2. Bunhill Fields/Bunhill Meeting
13. Swarthmoor Hall and Meeting
3. Jordans Meeting/Barn/Farmhouse
14. Quaker Tapestry Exhibition at Kendal
4. Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre
15. Lancaster Castle
5. Fenny Drayton
16. Brigflatts Meeting
6. Mancetter Parish Church
17. Firbank Fell
7. Hartshill Meeting
18. York
8. Coventry Cathedral
19. The Retreat Mental Hospital
9. Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale
20. Norwich
10. Crawshawbooth Meeting
21. Earlham Hall
11. Pendle Hill
22. Reflections After the Tour
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Big Selection
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Recommended Books: see all items
A Living Faith: An Historical and Comparative Study of Quaker Beliefs
Cover imageWilmer Cooper, founding Dean of Earlham School of Religion, provides an historical look at the beliefs of Friends (Quakers). Includes study questions.
Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home
Cover imageRichard J. Foster. Describes 21 types of Christian prayer. Harper San Francisco, 1992. 288 pages.
Journal of George Fox
Cover imageThe auto- biography of the founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
Celebration of Discipline
Cover image20th Anniversary Edition of Richard J. Foster's million- selling work on Christian spiritual disciplines.
Imagination & Spirit: A Contemporary Quaker Reader
Cover imageA selection of excerpts from 15 contemporary Quaker authors who reached the mainstream market. See review.

Recommended Art Print: see all prints


The Peaceable Kingdom
by Edward Hicks
29 in. x 23 in.

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Document last modified on Friday, 17-Mar-2006 18:48:46 EST