Mexican Ambassador and La Catrina at Cross Bones Graveyard

 
29th October 2021
 
Her Excellency The Mexican Ambassador, Josefa Gonzalez Blanco, visits the Garden of Remembrance to gift a statue of La Catrina, the Mexican skeleton lady who embodies the spirit of The Day of the Dead. The Mayor of Southwark and other local dignataries were there to welcome her. This personal message was read to her:
 
Dear Ambassador,
Katy and I are very sorry we can’t be here to welcome you in person today.
 
Thank you for your generous gift of La Catrina. She will enhance Cross Bones Graveyard as a sacred place and a sanctuary.
 
‘The Southwark Mysteries’ and our 25 years of working to reclaim and restore Cross Bones were inspired by local medieval folk-religion and shaped by many different cultural traditions.
 
The creation of the shrine to the outcast dead at the gates and the Mary shrine were strongly influenced by our visits to Mexico, and by the way the spirituality of the people is expressed in the traditions of the Virgin of Guadeloupe, the Day of the Dead and Santa Muerte.
 
We hope your interest in Cross Bones will continue and deepen. The support of the Mexican Embassy will help protect and promote Cross Bones as a place of pilgrimage. It will also powerfully underpin the excellent work of Bankside Open Spaces Trust to maintain this beautiful garden of remembrance.
 
If you were able to find a time next year, we’d be delighted to come up to London to meet to tell you more about the work at Cross Bones and its deep connections with Mexican culture.
 
With very best wishes,
John and Katy
Glastonbury, Somerset
 
 
 
 
 
The Shrine to the Outcast at Cross Bones was strongly influenced by Dia de los Muertos and other cultural traditions which enriched and informed our work to reestablish a native tradition to honour the spirits of the Ancestors. So we’re delighted that the Mexican Ambassador is now a strong supporter of Cross Bones Garden of Remembrance. La Catrina now has her own coffin-shelter (based on Lucy’s research into the Cross Bones burials), with her back to our Red Cross Mary shrine and facing the other way. So our guardians can now cover all angles – and watch each other’s backs!
 
La Catrina, and Mary, can now be seen in the Cross Bones garden. Check with bost.org.uk for current opening times.)
 
Some ‘authentic’ folk-traditions are born of open-hearted cultural cross-fertilisation.

ANCESTOR SOULS – online live stream

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
https://www.facebook.com/events/1170932786767317

A ritual performance of astral music, spirit songs and incantations by
Jenny Bliss Bennett, William Kraemer and John Crow Constable
 
‘Here the veil between the worlds dissolves:
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.’
 
In August, Jenny and William recorded an improvised session with John in which he recited his magical verses as they sang and played. Together they wove an enchantment which sparked their creative relationship. This is their first full public performance.
 
Jenny Bliss Bennett is a singer and virtuoso multi-instrumentalist.
William Kraemer is a versatile musician and synth-wizard. They regularly perform with their band Queen Space Baroque. https://queenspacebaroque.com/
 
John Constable aka John Crow is a playwright, poet and performer, best known for The Southwark Mysteries (Oberon Books). His work has been performed in Shakespeare’s Globe, Southwark Cathedral, at international festivals and in many rituals performed at Cross Bones Graveyard. Tonight he’ll perform his Samhain incantations from The Halloween of Cross Bones and new work inspired by his first year living in Glastonbury. http://crossbones.org.uk/john-constable/
 
For anyone living near Glastonbury, a few tickets are available for the concert itself in The Library of Avalon.
Tickets: £13.
Places strictly limited. Advance booking: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/ancestor-souls-tickets…

ANCESTOR SOULS

 
Sunday October 31st 2021 (doors open 7.30pm; doors close 7.57pm)
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.
Tickets £13. Places limited. Advance booking: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/ancestor-souls-tickets…
A limited number of paper tickets are on sale at The Speaking Tree bookshop.
 
A ritual performance of astral music, spirit songs and incantations by Jenny Bliss Bennett, William Kraemer and John Crow Constable:
 
‘Here the veil between the worlds dissolves: 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.’
 
In August, Jenny and William recorded an improvised session with John in which he recited his magical verses as they sang and played. Together they wove an enchantment which sparked their creative relationship. This is their first full public performance.
 
Jenny Bliss Bennett is a singer and virtuoso multi-instrumentalist. William Kraemer is a versatile musician and synth-wizard. They regularly perform with their band Queen Space Baroque.
https://queenspacebaroque.com/
 
John Constable aka John Crow is a playwright, poet and performer, best known for The Southwark Mysteries (Oberon Books). His work has been performed in Shakespeare’s Globe, Southwark Cathedral, at international festivals and in many rituals performed at Cross Bones Graveyard. Tonight he’ll perform his Samhain incantations from The Halloween of Cross Bones and new work inspired by his first year living in Glastonbury.
http://crossbones.org.uk/john-constable/
 
Tickets for the live concert in Library of Avalon (£13) adavance booking here: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/ancestor-souls-tickets…
 
Tickets for the Online Live Stream (£4.99 or £3.99 early bird) available here:

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.
 

La Catrina

 

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.

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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