An age-old English tradition to mark parish boundaries took place at Oriel College on Ascension Day, 18 May.
Every year, an assortment of school children and parishioners from the University Church of St Mary the Virgin walks around its parish, marking the old medieval boundaries with chalk and canes, through shops, libraries and colleges in a tradition known as ‘beating of the bounds’.
The boundary of the parish of St Mary the Virgin passes through the grounds of Oriel and so, the Provost, Lord Mendoza CBE, and the Chaplain welcomed the procession in Magpie Lane. This included the clergy alongside members of the congregation and more than 20 students from Rosehill Primary and New College School.
After the boundaries were marked by chalk and willow wands, the school children enjoyed ice cream in Front Quad at Oriel. The choral scholars sang from the gatehouse tower, and Oriel and Keble chapel choirs held a combined Ascension Day service in Chapel later in the day.
The College is proud of its strong link with St Mary’s, the University Church, because the founder of Oriel, Adam de Brome, was the rector there.