Beating the Bounds
The beating of the bounds is a tradition which dates back to Anglo-Saxon times and was the means by which parish boundaries were marked and remembered.
On Ascension Day the vicar and parishioners of St Mary the Virgin, the University Church, walk the parish boundary, “marking” it at various points. Year 5 were delighted to join in to help check and mark the boundaries this year. It is a regular event, and very much a highlight of the year, steeped in history and tradition. Cherry cake in All Souls, sweets and pennies thrown from the windows, and ice-creams to finish, make the two-hour promenade and walk through Oxford colleges, even more enjoyable. The tour was interspersed with short talks by college chaplains, the singing of hymns and prayers of thanks, which only added to the unique nature of this occasion.