Crossbones Garden workshops

from the Crossbones October 2021 bulletin by Hej at Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST)

Crossbones Vision detailed design and construction workshops: As explained in the August bulletin, we’re going to host a series of workshops, in collaboration with U+I (who will one day be our new landlord) which will explore how we create our Vision for Crossbones, and help to ensure that contractors working on site do so with sensitivity. 

Workshops will be held at Crossbones, Liberty of Southwark or a nearby location. Luke, the landscape architect who many of you will know from the previous workshops a couple of years ago, will be helping to lead them with me and Hen from U+I.  Other professionals such as the archaeologists from the MOLA team at the Liberty of Southwark, as well as contractors creating bespoke elements, will be attending for some workshops as well. Refreshments will be provided. An outline of the workshops (exact times in the day TBC) is below:

Friday 5th November, AM: Introduction to the Crossbones Graveyard technical design workshops: Recap on the Crossbones Graveyard Vision and planning documents submitted. Q and A session, especially for new Crossbones supporters. Look at workshop programme and suggest any issues/ topics people would also like to discuss.

Saturday 20th November, PM: Boundaries: new railings, new walls, repairs to the ribboned gates and how, working with Friends of Crossbones, we remove and store ribbons and then reattach them.

Friday 3rd December, AM: Water and electricity. Looking at the location of these new utilities and whether disturbance to the ground may be required. Possible visit next door to see Liberty of Southwark dig – tour with MOLA and Q and A session.

Friday 7th January, AM: Structures on site: new ramps, pergolas and shelters. Description of how they might be built e.g. using sustainable timber, metalwork, etc – artisans we’ll be working with will also be joining us – see below.

January/February TBC: Surfacing.  How will create the crack crosses? Possible field trip to see kinds of concrete used in different settings, in London if we can e.g. local walk to Tate.

February TBC: Summary of discussions. Q and A session. Next steps. Look at construction programme. 

Please let me know if you’d like to join any of the workshops….bear in mind that spaces are limited and I will be reserving spaces first for our regular Crossbones volunteers. If you are not able to join us, please let me know if there is anything you’d like asked on your behalf.  I’ll be sharing notes from the workshops via the bulletin.

Workshops will be topic specific and owing to time constraints, we will not have an opportunity to have broader discussions. If you’d like, for instance, to discuss the Liberty of Southwark development, please contact Hen at U+I directly (see note below).

To register to receive BOST’s free monthly Crossbones bulletins, please email: @hej@bost.org.uk

Southwark Cathedral burial grounds talks

 
Saturday 23rd October 10am – 4pm
 
Southwark Cathedral are delighted to host a day of talks exploring burial grounds, cemeteries and funerals.
 
Speakers include: Lucy Coleman Talbot: St Saviour’s Black Flag: Crossbones Graveyard and The Church

The Church’s history with Crossbones Graveyard is usually confined to some distant past. The myth that this is the final resting place of the Winchester Geese, sex workers licensed by the Bishop of Winchester yet denied Christian burial, is just the beginning of a long and complex story. Lucy will bring this story to light, by presenting her PhD research. Which traces this contentious relationship through time to present day.

Lucy has just completed her PhD examining the Crossbones Graveyard in Southwark, London, where she also volunteers and advocates for it’s protection.

‘We Are Here’

 
21-30 October 2021 in Cross Bones Garden (Wed, Thur, Fri 12-2pm) FREE
 
‘We Are Here’ is a physical manifestation of Lucy Coleman Talbot’s PhD research efforts to locate documented information about those buried at Crossbones. A range of reconstructions of coffins will be installed on Crossbones Graveyard, bearing the names of people known to be buried at the ground.
 
The installations can be viewed during regular garden opening hours: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 12pm-2pm and also Sunday 24th October 3.30pm-5pm. The viewings are FREE.
 
On Sunday 31st October 2pm – 4pm, Lucy will talk about the installation and share some of the burial ground’s history. Autumnal refreshments (vegan and gluten free) will also be available. Please book via eventbrite here. Many thanks to Lucy and sculptor Adrian (who also created our beautiful skull donation box) for making this installation possible.
 

Serpents Oracles Prophesies and Blake

Thursday 23rd September 2021 – 6.30pm to late

The Bookery Gallery, 20 Church Street, London NW8 8EP


an evening of spoken word and other delights with
Stephen Micalef, John Crow, Niall McDevitt, Noel Grassy Macken, Mikey Georgeson, Theresa Welsh
compere: Aaron Barschak

bookerygallerie.com

John Crow aka John Constable will be performing poems from
‘The Southwark Mysteries’ (inspired by Cross Bones Graveyard)
along with new work from his Glastonbury Cycle

Cross Bones Vigil – autumn equinox

Thusday 23rd September

At 7pm on the 23rd of every month since 23rd June 2004, we’ve conducted the Crossbones Vigil – to honour the Outcast, dead and alive; to renew the shrine; and to reclaim the Secret History as revealed by The Goose to John Crow on 23rd November 1996.
 
The Vigils have continued throughout lockdown with a small band of fearless spirits holding them at the gates in Redcross Way. If you’re one of them please take care for your own and others’ health and well-being.
 
Vigils have also been held ‘on the Astral’ with people tuning in from all over the world, creating their own altars and conducting the rituals in their own homes.
 
Some of us connect online via the Zoom gathering hosted by Jacqui, with people linking up from all over the world.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85624178240
Meeting ID: 856 2417 8240 Passcode: 377295
 
This Vigil marks the autumn equinox, a time for rebalancing, for clearing out our dead wood to make room for new life.
 
Once again, to help you participate fully, here’s our basic ‘order of service’ for every Vigil:
 
1. Opening (on the stroke of 7pm)
Light a candle, incense. Ring seven chimes. Say:
 
‘Spirits of The Dead, Spirits of the Living, Kindred. Welcome!’
 
As you say these words, be aware that you are connected with all Spirits, incarnate and disincarnate, and with the transforming agency of The Goose, in this act of mutual healing taking place within a single, undivided consciousness.
 
Crossbones is a pauper’s graveyard, the final resting place for the sex workers (Winchester Geese) who worked in brothels owned and licensed by the Bishop of Winchester in Southwark’s ‘Liberty of the Clink’. Thanks to our work over the past 23 years, this once despised, desolate site has become a holy place for pilgrims from all over the world – a shrine and a garden of remembrance ‘for the Outcast, dead and alive’.
 
2. Lighting the pathways
Hold the candle for one minute’s silence, as you imagine lighting the open pathways for all beings to make their individual journeys. It helps to cultivate a state of “shining emptiness”, in which all sounds, sights and other sense impressions can arise and vanish, with nothing for anything to attach to.
 
3. “Binding and loosing”.
Imagine tying a ribbon to Crossbones Gates. Invest the ribbon with all that you would wish for yourself, and as you tie it, release that blessing for others, saying five times:
 
“Here lay your hearts, your flowers,
Your Book of Hours,
Your fingers, your thumbs,
Your “Miss You Mums”.
Here hang your hopes, your dreams,
Your Might Have Beens,
Your locks, your keys,
Your Mysteries.”
 
4. Bardic offerings.
Perform a short poem/song/text from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ or offer a short poem/song/testimony inspired by or dedicated to The Goose and her Outcast Dead.
 
5. Closing.
Close the ceremony with a libation of gin. Say:
 
“Life! Health! Happiness! Open Pathways!
Health in the Body.
Peace In the Spirit.
Love In The Heart.
It is this that we wish,
for ourselves,
for our friends and family,
for all our Brothers and Sisters,
for The Goose and The Crow,
and for all Humanity.
May it be so.”
 
then:
 
“Goose may you never be hungry!
Goose may you never be thirsty!
Goose may your Spirit fly free!”
 
And so she does..
.
Open pathways!

The Ox-Pen of The Bards


Monday 20th September 2021, Harvest Moon, 7pm to 9.30
 
St Benedict’s Church, Benedict Street, Glastonbury
 
The Equin OX-PEN OF THE BARDS
‘To sing our Taliesin…’
 
with Pok, Tim Raven, John Crow, Jenny Bliss, William Kraemer,
Sophie and a Choir, a piano recital – and more.
 
Free. Magic hat.
 
Arrive in good time for the full transports of delight! ❤

Cross Bones Vigil for the Outcast

 
Monday 23rd August at 7pm
 
At 7pm on the 23rd of every month since 23rd June 2004, we’ve conducted the Crossbones Vigil – to honour the Outcast, dead and alive; to renew the shrine; and to reclaim the Secret History as revealed by The Goose to John Crow on 23rd November 1996. This 23rd August some will doubtless gather again at the gates in Redcross Way. If you’re one of them please take care for your own and others’ health and well-being.
 
Throughout lockdown Vigils have also been held ‘on the Astral’ with people tuning in from all over the world, creating their own altars and conducting the rituals in their own homes. Some of us connect online via the Zoom Vigil hosted by Jacqui, with people linking up from all over the world.
 
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85624178240
Meeting ID: 856 2417 8240 Passcode: 377295
 
 
Once again, to help you participate fully, here’s our basic ‘order of service’ for every Vigil:
 
1. Opening (on the stroke of 7pm)
Light a candle, incense. Ring seven chimes. Say:
 
‘Spirits of The Dead, Spirits of the Living, Kindred. Welcome!’
 
As you say these words, be aware that you are connected with all Spirits, incarnate and disincarnate, and with the transforming agency of The Goose, in this act of mutual healing taking place within a single, undivided consciousness.
Crossbones is a pauper’s graveyard, the final resting place for the sex workers (Winchester Geese) who worked in brothels owned and licensed by the Bishop of Winchester in Southwark’s ‘Liberty of the Clink’. Thanks to our work over the past 23 years, this once despised, desolate site has become a holy place for pilgrims from all over the world – a shrine and a garden of remembrance ‘for the Outcast, dead and alive’.
 
2. Hold the candle for one minute’s silence, as you imagine lighting the open pathways for all beings to make their individual journeys. It helps to cultivate a state of “shining emptiness”, in which all sounds, sights and other sense impressions can arise and vanish, with nothing for anything to attach to.
 
3. “Binding and loosing”. Imagine tying a ribbon to Crossbones Gates. Invest the ribbon with all that you would wish for yourself, and as you tie it, release that blessing for others, saying five times:
“Here lay your hearts, your flowers,
Your Book of Hours,
Your fingers, your thumbs,
Your “Miss You Mums”.
Here hang your hopes, your dreams,
Your Might Have Beens,
Your locks, your keys,
Your Mysteries.”
 
4. Bardic offerings.
Perform a short poem/song/text from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ or offer a short poem/song/testimony inspired by or dedicated to The Goose and her Outcast Dead.
 
5. Closing.
Close the ceremony with a libation of gin. Say:
 
“Life! Health! Happiness! Open Pathways!
Health in the Body.
Peace In the Spirit.
Love In The Heart.
It is this that we wish,
for ourselves,
for our friends and family,
for all our Brothers and Sisters,
for The Goose and The Crow,
and for all Humanity.
May it be so.”
 
then:
 
“Goose may you never be hungry!
Goose may you never be thirsty!
Goose may your Spirit fly free!”
And so she does..
.
Open pathways!

>><<
 
‘Our Lady of the Hollyhocks’ photo by Katy Nicholls

Cross Bones Vigil: Isis-Magdalene Festival

 
Friday 23rd July 2021
 
At 7pm on the 23rd of every month since 23rd June 2004, we’ve conducted the Crossbones Vigil – to honour the Outcast, dead and alive; to renew the shrine; and to reclaim the Secret History as revealed by The Goose to John Crow on 23rd November 1996. This 23rd July some will doubtless gather again at the gates in Redcross Way. If you’re one of them please take care for your own and others’ health and well-being.
 
Throughout lockdown Vigils have also been held ‘on the Astral’ with people tuning in from all over the world, creating their own altars and conducting the rituals in their own homes. Some of us connect online via the Zoom Vigil hosted by Jacqui, with people linking up from all over the world.
 
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85624178240
Meeting ID: 856 2417 8240 Passcode: 377295
 
This month is traditionally our Isis-Magdalene Vigil. Around this time in Ancient Egypt, the Goddess Isis was honoured, along with other members of the Divine pantheon. The rites of Isis, who literally ‘re-membered’ the body of her murdered and mutilated brother-husband Osiris, are reiterated in ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ and in the July Crossbones Vigil.
 
The 22nd July is Mary Magdalene’s Feast Day. At Crossbones we celebrate her both in her orthodox form as the ‘Apostle of the Apostles’ and in her Gnostic manifestations as the disciple to whom Jesus imparted his secret teachings. ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ places itself in an oral tradition of hermetic teachings transmitted by by Mary Magdalene and passed down by the actors and whores of the Southwark ‘Liberty’.
If you’re conducting your own Vigil, you may like to perform parts of ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ that relate directly to Isis or Mary Magdalene, an appropriate text from the Nag Hammadi Gospels, or the New Testament scene where Mary encounters the risen Christ “supposing him to be the gardener” (John 20:15).
 
Once again, to help you participate fully, here’s our basic ‘order of service’ for every Vigil:
 
1. Opening (on the stroke of 7pm)
Light a candle, incense. Ring seven chimes. Say:
 
‘Spirits of The Dead, Spirits of the Living, Kindred. Welcome!’
 
As you say these words, be aware that you are connected with all Spirits, incarnate and disincarnate, and with the transforming agency of The Goose, in this act of mutual healing taking place within a single, undivided consciousness.
Crossbones is a pauper’s graveyard, the final resting place for the sex workers (Winchester Geese) who worked in brothels owned and licensed by the Bishop of Winchester in Southwark’s ‘Liberty of the Clink’. Thanks to our work over the past 23 years, this once despised, desolate site has become a holy place for pilgrims from all over the world – a shrine and a garden of remembrance ‘for the Outcast, dead and alive’.
 
2. Hold the candle for one minute’s silence, as you imagine lighting the open pathways for all beings to make their individual journeys. It helps to cultivate a state of “shining emptiness”, in which all sounds, sights and other sense impressions can arise and vanish, with nothing for anything to attach to.
 
3. “Binding and loosing”. Imagine tying a ribbon to Crossbones Gates. Invest the ribbon with all that you would wish for yourself, and as you tie it, release that blessing for others, saying five times:
“Here lay your hearts, your flowers,
Your Book of Hours,
Your fingers, your thumbs,
Your “Miss You Mums”.
Here hang your hopes, your dreams,
Your Might Have Beens,
Your locks, your keys,
Your Mysteries.”
 
4. Bardic offerings.
Perform a short poem/song/text from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ inspired by and / or dedicated to Isis / Mary Magdalene. Or another text relevant to them and their festivals.
 
5. Closing.
Close the ceremony with a libation of gin. Say:
 
“Life! Health! Happiness! Open Pathways!
Health in the Body.
Peace In the Spirit.
Love In The Heart.
It is this that we wish,
for ourselves,
for our friends and family,
for all our Brothers and Sisters,
for The Goose and The Crow,
and for all Humanity.
May it be so.”
 
then:
 
“Goose may you never be hungry!
Goose may you never be thirsty!
Goose may your Spirit fly free!”
And so she does..
.
Open pathways!
>><<
 

Act of Regret, Remembrance, Restoration at Cross Bones Graveyard

Sunday 18th July 2021

Film of The Dean of Southwark performing the Act of Regret, Remembrance, Restoration on Cross Bones Graveyard. This special service, conducted for the past seven years on the Sunday closest to St Mary Magdalene’s Day, blesses the outcast dead and our holy ground of Cross Bones. And all abused women.

This SE1 youtube film (17 mins) is very moving – especially when The Dean scatters holy water and the incense is censed. It ends with Mark Juhan thanking ‘the guys from The Cathedral’ then giving a fine rendition of ‘I Am The Wind’ from The Southwark Mysteries. Well done to all concerned. Proud to see Cross Bones being honoured in diverse spiritual traditions. The Goose is (well and truly) loose!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi7w-Ru5IXk

Act of Regret, Remembrance, Restoration

Sunday 18th July at 12.30pm in Cross Bones Graveyard and Garden of Remembrance, Union Street, London SE1

The Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd. Andrew Nunn, conducts a special service at Crossbones, the unconsecrated outcasts’ burial ground.
 
His ‘Act of Regret, Remembrance, Restoration’ expresses the church’s regret for the treatment of the ‘Winchester Geese’, the sex workers who worked in the Bankside brothels licensed by the Bishop of Winchester, yet were allegedly denied Christian burial. It’s also a powerful statement of the Cathedral’s support for the protection of Crossbones Garden.
 
The Dean and Southwark Cathedral Chapter will be welcomed by Mark Juhan and other friends of Cross Bones.
 
Because of the pandemic restrictions numbers are strictly limited. Please arrive in good time before 12.30pm and be gracious if you’re unable to get in.
 
Click on this link for the Order of Service: Cross Bones Act of Regret
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