Presentation Highlights from the Rev. Dr. Paul St. Germain, Transition Priest in Charge
Oxford and Cambridge don C. S. “Jack” Lewis (1898 – 1963) has been called the “greatest Christian writer in the English language” – opening the door of faith to millions of readers. His words on Christian apologetics are indeed ones of “global ministry” – are all not only in print but have been translated into most languages – and continue to sell millions of copies annually.
The Kilns, also known as the C. S. Lewis House, is a house in England’s Oxford suburb of Risinghurst, where the author wrote his “Chronicle of Narnia” series and other classics.
The Kilns was built in 1922 on the site of a former clay works for bricks. The lake in the garden is a flooded clay pit on the shores of which Lewis’s brother Warnie built an Oriental Garden. In 1930, The Kilns was bought by C. S. Lewis, and it became home for himself, his brother Major Warren Lewis, and Mrs. Jane Moore. Janie Moore was the mother of Lewis’s university friend Paddy Moore, who had been killed in the First World War in which Lewis also served and was injured.
The Kilns was restored in the mid 2000’s (see poem below) – and is currently owned and administered by the C.S. Lewis Foundation, which operates it as the Study Centre at the Kilns for students majoring in English Literature graduate studies at Oxford
University. Paul spent a semester at Trinity College, Oxford in 1986 and had the privilege of staying at The Kilns for a seminar in 2007.
Working at the Kilns
“The noise and fury of twenty hands rebuilding the house around me never intruded on my thoughts as I set to do the work before me.
Ripping up the rotten floor and cutting new parquet to match the old in Joy’s room. Cutting out the boards by hand and nailing them together to match the bookcase in the picture of Mrs. Moore’s room; Tearing brick and mortar apart with a miniature jackhammer to open up the fireplace in Jack’s bedroom; Scraping the ladder on the quarry tile floor and nailing into the ceiling to hang a towel rack above the Aga in Mrs. Miller’s kitchen.
My pen move steadily across the paper while I sat at the dining room table until I finished my chapter, looked up, and thought, “Jack wrote here.”
Harry Lee Poe
“C.S Lewis Remembered” – 2006