St. Wilfrid led a rather amazing life. He was born in Northumbria in 634 and was educated at the monastery of Lindisfarne. As he grew he travelled to Rome with Benet Biscop and spent a long time at Lyons. During these journeys he discovered he rather liked the way the Roman church did things and when he returned to Briton he discovered he liked them far better than the Celtic traditions that had started to arrive via the Irish missionaries from Iona (and Wales).
Interestingly he appears to have become Abbot of Ripon sometime before he was ordained and as the issues of Celtic traditions Vs. Roman traditions escalated he found himself at the heart of the debate.
During his time as Abbot, and then Bishop of various diocese in Briton and Europe he was engaged in bitter debates on church order and the organisation of diocese and resources.
He fought his cases in Roman courts, in person, and often with great passion – which was not always appreciated.
Indeed, this passion to do the right thing – as he saw it – led to his imprisonment by the King of Northumbria.
He escaped to Sussex where he led a mission to the South Saxons and then to the people of Friesland (starting a great English mission to the Germanic people).
Ultimately he tried to return to Northumbria (and made more appeals to Rome to do so) but had to accept a compromise which led to him becoming Bishop of Hexam and keeping his monastery in Ripon.
His passion for his faith led him to disagree with others, but it also led to great missions and conversion. Disagreement isn’t always a bad thing… disagreement can be a force for good and for God!
Thank you all for bringing such wonderful gifts for the bring-and-share lunch last week. It was a delightful afternoon of friendship and fellowship.
Choir practice continues every Sunday 2pm – 4pm until they perform on October 24th. Don’t worry if you missed the first rehearsal, come along and give it a go – it’s a very easy tune.
Today (Sunday) we kick off two weeks of the Rosary Mission. David Camp (our St. Mellitus placement student) is preaching for us today, and tomorrow (Monday) we’ll be meeting after mass to plan out the week – where we’re going, how long we keep the church open etc. If you can help in any way please sign up on the sheet at the back of church or speak to Fr. Matthew. Just an hour in church could be so helpful in keeping it open during the mission.
Please note changes to services times this week – especially Wednesday evening (5pm for EP & Rosary).