5th June. St. Boniface

Sometimes you get odd links in events and news. One item of news was the protecting of the shipwreck of a German battleship off the Kent coast as a Class II listed site, which was rammed by another German ship by mistake while on friendly manoeuvres with the British fleet in 1878. The memorial to the dead is in a Folkestone cemetary. Meanwhile today is the feast day of St. Boniface, an English monk from Crediton in Devon, who set out in the 9th century as a missionary to what later became Germany. He was very successful , became Bishop of Mainz, and was finally martyred in Friesland working as a missionary and is buried in Fulda Cathedral in the centre of Germany. For centuries before modern times we felt we were a vital part of the rest of the continent, part of Christendom, even if more recently we concentrated on Empire rather than our neighbours, yet we have endeavoured to work with the rest of the continent (sometimes with devastating consequences but even those were at least ostensibly to go to the aid of another.) The old headline ‘Fog in Channel, continent cut off’ is an approach we can find amusing, but in reality we need to look at ourselves from both sides of the Channel to get a balanced view, when there is no fog that is.

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