Canterbury Cathedral

Signpost 55 (24 May)

Welcome to issue 55 of the St Monica Trust’s Signpost newsletter. Over the last year, we have been providing a wide selection of online resources to keep you busy and entertained. It has been a long year, and things that only happened 12 months ago seem a lot further in the past. For example, it was only a year ago this week that Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave full support to his adviser Dominic Cummings, who had driven 250 miles to his parent's house in Durham after strict lockdown rules had been imposed on the UK.

A popular feature of Signpost has been the ‘this week in history’ segment, and this week our whole issue has that theme. Each of the resources suggested throughout this issue is connected to an event that happened during this week in history. From the fall of the Cromwell’s and the resurgence of the Monarchy to Terry Waite and HMS Pinafore, we hope that this week’s eclectic selection is as interesting and entertaining as ever.


  • 82 years ago this week, Terry Waite, religious adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury, was born. In January 1987 he was held prisoner in Lebanon after being kidnapped on a visit to negotiate the release of hostages. Over the last year, many of us have felt trapped and isolated. Terry Waite had much more brutal and prolonged experience of this - he was held hostage for almost five years. In this video for the BBC, Terry talks about what being a hostage taught him about happiness and creativity.



  • 192 years ago, Humphry Davy died. Davy was best known as the English scientist who invented a lamp for miners, enabling them to work safely in the presence of flammable gases. The Royal Institution provides this article and documentary looking at the “Davy” lamp and how it worked to keep miners safe.
  • 362 years ago this week, Richard Cromwell, son of Oliver, resigned from his position as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. 361 years ago this week Charles II was made King, 11 years after his father was executed. These 11 years between Charles I’s execution and the reinstatement of Charles II is known as the interregnum. You can watch a 5-minute explanation of this period here or read this article.


  • 143 years ago this week, Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore opened at the Opera Comique in London. You can enjoy the comic opera in concert form here as part of the 2005 BBC Proms.

Please get in touch through our email and let us know how we are doing.

Don't forget that our online services of worship and contributions from the Pastoral Care Team can be found at