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C.S. Lewis’s 50th – A Fireside View – Part 1

December 3, 2013

Lancia E. Smith

This blog is going to be something of a departure for me. Today I am going to launch a few posts for a specific circle of people – friends and family who for a variety of reasons were not able to attend the events in London, Oxford and Cambridge commemorating C.S. Lewis’s Memorial in Poets’ Corner.

This blog is especially dedicated to:

Carolyn Curtis, Devin Brown, Sheila Swartz, Mary Mueller, Mary Tabb, Dianne Mosely, Jill Fort, Mary Key, Kirk Manton, Rebekah Choat, and Richard Platt; with a special nod to Lynn Severance, Sierra Glyer, Lanier Ivester, and Lael Arrington. And I will say for the record  – Pahtyana, Clinton, Elly and Jolie Moore, and Jordanna James – that I missed you in a distinct way and would have loved to have had you there with us seeing all this wonder.

However, even if I missed your name, if you love Lewis and wanted to go, this series is for you. Pull up your chair. Close your eyes for a moment. Rest your heart. Imagine that you are sitting with me in my office looking at a slide show of my favourite images from this trip. Here’s what it looked like through my eyes. This is your heritage, too.

Entering London. Day 1 and 2. 

Richard Coeur de Lion / Richard the Lion-hearted statue

in front of the Palace of Westminster, Houses of Parliament, late afternoon.

Statue-of-Richard-the-Lion-hearted-in-front-of-Parliament- Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

The Parliament Building.

House of Parliment - Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

An allee of lights up to the Parliament building.

Lights-for-Parliament-walk-  Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -


The London Eye as seen from part of St. James Park

The-London-Eye - Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

Traffic near St. James Park.

Statue-and-traffic-in-St-James-Park-dusk -  Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

St. James Park swan. Sigh.

St James Swan 5 gl - Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

Window box garden over Westminster Abbey

Window box garden over Westminster Abbey - Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey from street corner - Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

Architectural Details – Arches and Lamp

Architectural Details - Arches and Lamp 1 -  Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

Magnificent Gothic Door at Westminster Abbey.

Gothic Door at Westminster Abbey - Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

The front view of St. Margaret’s.

Front of St Margarets - Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

Sign for the Sanctuary House Hotel.

Sign for Fullers and Sanctuary House -  Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

If you ever need to stay in London near the Abbey, this is a lovely place to rest your head. The staff at the Sanctuary House Hotel are the kindest, most attentive I have ever met. Anywhere. Thank you, Carolyn, for letting us take your room over when you could not be here. I was conscious of your absence every day and missed you.

Fuller’s is the restaurant for Sanctuary House Hotel.

Window sign at Fullers, restaurant for Sanctuary House Hotel - Sign for Fullers and Sanctuary House -  Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

We had many meetings there and some lovely breakfasts.

Westminster Abbey looking like a castle.

Westminster Abbey looking like a castle - Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

My first view of Big Ben!

Big Ben - Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

London, like so many cities in England, is replete with sculpture and beautiful architectural embellishment. I felt overwhelmed with the poverty of America in terms of our urban landscapes and environment of history.

This beautiful figure of a woman is carved into enduring stone – an ever-faithful witness and pilgrim.

Ever faithful - Image (c) Lancia E. Smith -

London Frieze Detail

London-Frieze-Detail-1 - Image copyright Lancia E. Smith -

Lamps are everywhere and in a beautiful array of styles. It is not remotely difficult to see where Lewis might have drawn on that image for the lamp springing up in Narnia. You all will be seeing this image as well as many others used as e-cards and quotes.

Inspiration is everywhere!

Westminster Lamp Light - Image copyright Lancia E. Smith -

All this set the stage and backdrop for the events of Thursday through Saturday, in London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Much more to come – so stay tuned!

Click here for Part 2 in this series.

Click here for Part 3 of this series.

Click here for Part 4 – Tea at the Kilns. 


The images featured here are by me, Lancia E. Smith, and used with my permission for Cultivating. 

Many blessings to you and yours!




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  1. Lori says:

    Thank you Lancia; loving it.

  2. Oh, Lancia – what an amazing treat to be “with you” as you relive, for yourself, the glorious images that comprised your time in England while taking us along.

    You are a gem – shining as brightly as your photos!

  3. Patricia Conneen says:

    What a generous spirit you have and what a beautiful gift for those who were able to be there and for those who, just now, can begin to enter in. Thank you!

  4. Mary Mueller says:

    Thank you and bless you, dear Lancia!

  5. Jean Mattson says:

    While enduring the final throes of jet lag, it is wonderful to remember how truly magical the entire event was! Thank you!!

  6. Lancia E. Smith says:

    Lori, thanks so much! So glad you are enjoying the visual journey with me! Hope to do that more in person at Oxbridge. 🙂

  7. Lancia E. Smith says:

    Lynn, thank you so very much! I know you wanted to do this trip and I wish I could have carried you along with me! Blessings to you and thank you for being an inspiration and encouragement to so many!

  8. Lancia E. Smith says:

    Pat, bless you, friend. What kind words and generous spirit YOU have! It was a delight to see you in Cambridge and in London, even if it was barely more than a glimpse! I hope all your travels are happy and deeply healing for you and Dennis!

  9. Lancia E. Smith says:

    Blessings to you, dear Mary! You are so very welcome!

  10. Lancia E. Smith says:

    Jean, thank YOU! Praying that you fully recover from the jet lag and have only beautiful memories of this event!

  11. With a deep, deep nod of appreciation back at you, dear Lancia. Next best thing to being there. Can’t wait to see the rest.

  12. Lancia E. Smith says:

    Lael, blessings to you! I am so glad you can enjoy some of this arm chair travel with me!

  13. […] It was truly a beautiful sight.  Emotions were certainly running high.  The ceremony ended, and everyone was given the chance to see the dedicatory place for Lewis.  It was a service that I like to think Lewis himself would have enjoyed. (By the way, to see photos of the 50th Anniversary Celebration, taken by good friend of the Foundation Lancia Smith, click here.) […]

  14. Lancia, your eye for beauty is unsurpassed — whether in architecture, in nature, in urban landscapes (if views of London can be described that way) and, of course, in your fabulous portraits. Thank you for taking time to share these lovely photographs with me and others who were with you in spirit, if not in person. You are an artist, posing as a photographer…and I mean that with great admiration for your skill with a technology that you have truly mastered.

  15. Lancia E. Smith says:

    Carolyn, I am deeply honoured by the generosity of your comments. Thank you indeed. I will treasure your kind words and generous heart always.

  16. […] the bolded title for a quick link to Part 1 of this […]

  17. Dianne Mosley says:

    Dear Lancia, I have been ill for over a week, and have been on the computer briefly only 3 times. I had seen part 2, and then tonight, part 3, with the link to part 1. How very kind of you to think of some of those who would have loved to be there, and how very much I am enjoying all the beautiful pictures.

  18. Lancia E. Smith says:

    Many blessings to you, Dianne, and many thanks for sharing as you read. I am sorry indeed to hear that you have been ill and lift you in prayer with thanksgiving for all the inspiration you are to so many.

  19. […] C.S. Lewis’s 50th – a fireside view – Part 1 […]

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