Dear Friends, It’s more than two years I completed my 23-year work at Cross Bones Graveyard on 23 November 2019. In September 2020 we moved to Glastonbury where we serve The Goose in Her Mysterious Ways. As we’re no longer on the ground in south-east London, I’m not posting my regular updates on what’s happening. I’ll still post on here to promote what I hope to be a unifying vision of Cross Bones as a shrine and a garden of remembrance for sex workers and all outcasts, sharing photos and films from our years of collective work to manifest our beautiful garden. And share the good news of all the Friends who are working in their own ways to protect this little patch of Holy Ground.
The garden is managed by Bankside Open Spaces Trust who put out a monthly newsletter to supporters. You can subscribe to the newsletter on their Crossbones page: https://www.bost.org.uk/crossbones-graveyard. To find out about being a volunteer warden to help keep the garden open, for information about opening times and for other enquiries, please contact: email@example.com
For anyone interested in some of the recent events at Cross Bones, here are edited selections from Hej’s December 2021 newsletter. (If you subscribe you can get more up-to-date information, see the photos and access the notes on the recent Crossbones Vision workshops.)
Dear Crossbones supporters
A very merry Yuletide to you all! Following on from Diwali’s Festival of Lights last month, we look to other religious festivals over this winter period which share the common theme of bringing light into dark places.Crossbones events
Donations from The Last Burials at Crossbones
Since the last bulletin, all profits from The Last Burials at Crossbones event were donated to the Outside Project, a total of £263. Lucy, BOST and The Outside Project would like to thank everyone who donated for your generosity!
Trans Day of Remembrance 20.11.21
We were delighted to host a remembrance event for Trans Day of Remembrance at Crossbones on Saturday 20th November with The Outside Project.
Many thanks to Jesse, Lu and volunteers from The Outside Project, who helped our gardening volunteers plant bulbs and Viburnum ‘December Dwarf’ on 19th November. They were planting on behalf of the Faculty of Reproductive and Sexual Healthcare, in remembrance of their friend and colleague Jane Hatfield.
Thanks again to our wonderful team of volunteer gardeners who take care of the Graveyard every Friday 12-2pm, lead by Barney. If you’d like to volunteer your time as a Crossbones warden or gardener, please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twelfth Night Sunday 9th January
The Lions part are pleased to be bringing Twelfth Night to Bankside on Sunday 9th January! Please visit their website for more details.
Crossbones Vision detailed design and construction workshops
We’ve hosted the first three of 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.
Don’t forget that the Crossbones Vigil, held by Friends of Crossbones is on 23rd of every month at 7pm outside the gates on Redcross Way. See also: www.crossbones.org.uk.
Welcoming new wardens!Hello to our new wardens
Sarah and Duncan who have recently joined up. We can’t open the garden without our wonderful warden team. Thanks to all of you for your ongoing support and dedication! If you or your friends/family would like to become wardens, please contact me: email@example.com.
Got an idea?As always, the best way to ‘weave Crossbones into the fabric of SE1’ is to get people involved on site. If you have an idea for an event, installation, tour, or other activity / initiative, I’d be delighted if you would get in contact with me via email, phone, WhatsApp, Signal etc. I’m back on 7th January). Let me know if you have a positive way of spreading the Crossbones story, and you’d like to speak to me in person. Best wishes Hej and the team at Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Report by James Hatts in London-SE1 on the Mexican Ambassador’s visit to Cross Bones and her gift of La Catrina:
Sunday 31st October, in The Library of Avalon, Glastonbury, streamed online on Facebook Live
Doors open / pre-show with vibey drones from 7.30pm. Performance commences 7.57pm
Tickets for Online Live Stream available here £4.99 or £3.99 early bird
Jenny Bliss Bennett, William Kraemer and John Crow Constable
the living, the dead, share the brew, break the bread,
Ancestor souls, converse and commune,
this Samhain night, by the light of a bone-white moon.’
William Kraemer is a versatile musician and synth-wizard. They regularly perform with their band Queen Space Baroque. https://queenspacebaroque.com/
Tickets: £13. Places strictly limited. Advance booking: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/ancestor-souls-tickets…
A ritual concert in The Library of Avalon, Glastonbury
All Hallows Eve, Halloween, Samhain
Doors open: 7.30pm for pre-show with vibey drones.
NB the portal will close at 7.57pm when the show begins.
No late admissions. Please arrive in good time to relax and tune in.
A limited number of paper tickets are on sale at The Speaking Tree bookshop.
share the brew, break the bread,
Ancestor souls, converse and commune,
this Samhain night, by the light of a bone-white moon.’
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: @firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
The Mexican Ambassador, Josefa González-Blanco Ortiz Mena, beside the staue of La Catrina.
The Ambassador recently kindly gifted the statue to Cross Bones Graveyard and will attend a private unveiling at Cross Bones.
La Catrina, , the elegant female skeleton who has become the emblem of La Dia de los Muertos, will have her own place in the Cross Bones garden of remembrance and will be on public display there from 30th October 2021.
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!