Glastonbury 2018

Renchi and Vanessa invite you to a

Glastonbury Positive Living Group

Film and talk by Renchi, Marcus and Susie Bicknell

The Marvels


 Clarence Bicknell

7 for 7.30 p.m.

Thursday 15th November 2018

Glastonbury Town Hall

Magdalene St, Glastonbury BA6 9EL

Tonight’s presentation by Renchi Bicknell tells the incredible story of his Great Great Uncle, Clarence Bicknell.

This year we recognise the 100th anniversary of Clarence’s death in 1918. His life is a celebration of the maverick spirit! Destined for life in the church, Clarence threw off the dog collar and embraced instead, the beauty, the detail and wonder of nature with his outstanding ability to draw, study and research it in all it’s forms, from botany to archeology. In a spirited life, a parallel to Blake, Turner and the later free spirits of the 1960’s Clarence moved from London to Italy and with the passion of a true Renaissance man, took to the mountains in his heavy Norfolk tweed coat and proceeded to paint in watercolour, the flora and fauna of the region. He discovered and documented pre-historic rock engravings, found and recorded fossils and pressed flowers. His was a true exploration of the depths and gifts of nature.

Clarence Bicknell was a product of the late Victorian Enlightenment, driven by a desire to understand our world and the quest to represent and express it creatively. He lived of course, at the same time of the figures we know as The Avalonians. During his years in Italy, Clarence made great friendships with prominent figures of the International artistic community in Bordighera including such luminaries as George Macdonald, Claude Monet, Peter Kropotkin, and Doctor John Arthur Goodchild, discoverer of The Blue Bowl. The solid friendship between Clarence and Dr Goodchild is written about in Clarence’s extensive diaries of the time along with other collegues and friends.

In an inspiring introduction to this extraordinary man, which will include slides and a beautiful short film presentation, this is an evening to shine a light on a genius and free spirit who was, and is now, an inspiration to the artist and explorer in us all.

There will also be an interactive experience of hands-on rubbing with wax and interpretation of the prehistoric rock engravings of the Mediterranean Alps, a co-operative and improvised quest for understanding of the spiritual side of the Victorian polymath, botanist, archaeologist, artist, pacifist, esperantist, Clarence Bicknell, friend of Dr Goodchild of the Glastonbury Blue Bowl.

Glastonbury is the source of the extraordinary story of John Arthur Goodchild (1851–1914), a physician, and later author of several works of poetry and mysticism, most famously The Light of the West. In February 1885, while visiting Bordighera, Italy (home of Clarence Bicknell at the time), Goodchild bought a “bowl and a platter” seen in a tailor’s shop. They lay untouched in a cupboard for ten years. Ten years later he felt “directed” by an intense psychic experience to take the “bowl” or “cup” to Bride’s Hill, Glastonbury, Somerset, a place he had never previously visited. Arriving in August 1898 he concealed the “Cup” in a pond or sluice beside a thorn tree near the River Brue. This place was reputedly known as the Women’s Quarter, Beckery, and according to legend was linked to St Bride. Then, he waited for the future discovery of the cup “by women” as had appeared to him in a vision. He continued to visit the site every year from 1899 until 1906, except the year 1905. The cup was then found and became the focus of a Christian group, including Goodchild and Wellesley Tudor Pole, based in Bristol, who believed the vessel to have formerly belonged to Jesus. The object is reported to now be in the possession of the Chalice Well Trust, based in Glastonbury. Goodchild had a private medical practice in Bordighera, Italy, serving mainly expatriate Britons. From 1873 until the early 1900s he stayed in Italy during summers and returned to the UK in winters.

Admission £5 on the door.

RSVP or 01458 830321

Watch a preview of the 18-minute film at

Read more about Goodchild and Glastonbury…

More at

You can find out about Clarence Bicknell on this web site