St Joan of Arc Day on Saturday 30 May brings to mind Cardinal Henry Beaufort.
The Cardinal presided at the trial of Joan who afterwards entrusted her ring to him on the eve of her death by burning in Rouen’s market square in 1431.
We meet Cardinal Beaufort as we start out on the Pilgrims’ Way.
At Winchester Cathedral his magnificent tomb is next to St Swithun’s shrine.
In Southwark Cathedral there is the Cardinal’s shield in the south transept and his image on the great screen.
He knew both churches well.
Those setting out from Winchester will pass through Farnham where there is the St Joan of Arc Church in Tilford Road just behind the station. The church, built in 1929, is dedicated to St Joan because Cardinal Beaufort, as Bishop of Winchester, was often in residence at Farnham Castle.
This year is the centenary of St Joan’s canonisation.
Rouen was also known to Thomas Becket who was there in 1170 on his way back to Canterbury and his death.
***Southwark Cathedral and Rouen Cathedral maintain an ecumenical link with exchange visits.