Sts Columba & Kentigern
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, Staveley Street, Edlington, Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Orthodox Cross
Situated above our church's main entrance
(Old) Icons of our Patron Saints
(These can still be viewed in our church)
Iconastasis showing the new Icon of Sts Columba and Kentigern
Sorry its a bit fuzzy, I'l try and get and better one as soon as I can
Our Patriarch and Metropolitan
Patriarch John 10th (left) and Metropolitan Silouan (right)
Icon of Christ flanked by Our Lady and St John the Forerunner
In pride of place on the Iconastasis, this icon was gifted to our church by Fr George in loving memory of Fr Dennis
The Altar
Viewed through the Royal Doors
The Bishop's Chair and Choir Stand
The item to the left is the Sepulchre, used during the seasons of Great Lent and Pascha
Ordination event at St Columba's May 2014
The whole congregation with the Clergy and Archbishop Ignatios
(New) Icon of St Columba (right) and St Kentigern (left)
Gifted to our church by Katiya Todorova
Our Clergy
Fr George
Our Archbishops Visit 12th Feb. 2017

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Articles on our visits to Croyland can be found below but first ...

A Short History Of Croyland Abbey

Croyland Abbey was a monastery of the Benedictine Order in Lincolnshire, sixteen miles from Stamford and thirteen from Peterborough. It was founded in memory of St. Guthlac, early in the eighth century, by Ethelbald, King of Mercia, but was entirely destroyed and the community slaughtered by the Danes in 866.

Refounded in the reign of King Edred, it was again destroyed by fire in 1091, but rebuilt about twenty years later by Abbot Joffrid. In 1170 the greater part of the abbey and church was once more burnt down and once more rebuilt, under Abbot Edward. From this time the history of Croyland was one of growing and almost unbroken prosperity down to the time of the Dissolution. Richly endowed by royal and noble visitors to the shrine of St. Guthlac, it became one of the most opulent of East Anglian abbeys; and owing to its isolated position in the heart of the fen country, its security and peace were comparatively undisturbed during the great civil wars and other national troubles.

The first abbot (in Ethelbald's reign) is said to have been Kenulph, a monk of Evesham; and one of the most notable was Ingulphus, who ruled from 1075 to 1109, and whose pseudo-chronicle was long considered the chief authority for the history of the abbey, though it is now acknowledged to be a compilation of the fifteenth century. At the time of the Dissolution the abbot was John Welles, or Bridges, who with his twenty-seven monks subscribed to the Royal Supremacy in 1534, and five years later surrendered his house to the king. The revenue of the abbey at this time has been variously estimated at 1083 and 1217 pounds. The site and buildings were granted in Edward VI's reign to Edward Lord Clinton, and afterwards came into the possession of the Hunter family. The remains of the abbey were fortified by the Royalists in 1643, and besieged and taken by Cromwell in May of that year.

The abbey church comprised a nave of nine bays with aisles, 183 feet long by 87 wide, an apsidal choir of five bays 90 feet long, a central tower and detached bell-tower at the east end. The existing remains consist of the north aisle, still used (as it was from the earliest times) as the parish church; the splendid west front, the lower (twelfth century) and the upper part (fourteenth century) elaborately decorated with arcading and statues, it is thought in imitation of Wells cathedral; and a few piers and arches of the nave. Much careful restoration and repair has been carried out since 1860, under Sir Gilbert Scott, Mr. J.L. Pearson, and other eminent architects.

Articles on our visits to Ilam can be found below but first ...

A Life of Saint Bertram

Bertram was King of Mercia sometime around the 8th century. He is said to have traveled to Ireland in order to discern his feeling of having a religious calling. However, when he arrived in Ireland he fell in love and eloped with a beautiful princess who he brought back to Mercia with him while she was pregnant with his child. They lived a nomadic life with the baby being said to have been born in the shelter of the forest near to present day Stafford. Tragically, whilst Bertram was away hunting for food for them, some wolves came upon their camp killing both his beloved wife and their infant child.

Overcome with grief, he once again turned to God. Renouncing his royal heritage he sought now a life of prayer. It is reported that many pagans from the area were converted to Christianity by the example he gave in his new life.

Without revealing his royal lineage, and presumably in disguise, Bertram approached the court of Mercia asking for, and being granted, land (near to modern day Stafford) where he could build a hermitage.

Meanwhile, a new king took the throne of Mercia but, not being a religious man, he demanded back the land on which the hermitage stood. It was decided to settle the matter by man to man combat. Bertram, obviously not wanting himself to fight being now a religious and peaceable man, prayed that someone might come forward to fight for the hermitage. Somewhat surprisingly, a dwarf came forward offering to fight but Bertram, remembering the story of David and Goliath, readily accepted the dwarf's offer; which was just as well: the hermitage kept its land!

Another story is told of Bertram that, having dedicated his life to Christ, he was sought out by the Devil who tried to tempt the saint to turn some stones into bread. Bertram, though, prayed that some bread would instead be turned to stones. In 1516 it was said that those self same stones were still to be found in the church at Bartomely, near Audley in present day Cheshire.

Being known in the area as a wise and holy man, many sought him out for spiritual advice. As with most holy men and women, though, constantly beset by people and needing to refresh his soul, he sought solitude in a cave near to what is now the village of Ilam in Staffordshire* where he lived until his death.

His tomb lies in Ilam Church. Though originally within the village the church now lies just outside the village. Jesse Watts Russell, anxious to improve his view from the hall he built there in the 1820s, had the village moved to its present location though left the Church where it was. Evidence of Saxon architecture can still be found on the south wall including a walled-up old Saxon doorway. There are also the stumps of two Saxon crosses in the churchyard and, inside the church, there is a magnificent Saxon font.

Much of the church is Norman and early English, (including the 13th century tower), but with some notable later additions. St Bertram's Chapel was built in 1618 by the Meverell family of Throwley Hall to house the saint's tomb, and this is still a regular place of pilgrimage. The Meverell family's own tomb, a fine early 17th century edifice, almost hidden by the organ, can also be found in the chapel.  The Chantry Chapel, a much more recent addition, was added by Jesse Watts Russell. This was completed in a Victorian gothic style which  fails to comlement the rest of the church. This chapel is a mausoleum to Jesse Watt Russell's father-in-law, David Pike Watts, and includes a fine marble statue depicting David Pike Watts on his deathbed.

St Bertram's well, just south of the church, is said to have been a source of fresh water ever since Saxon times. A little further on is St Bertram's bridge, for a long while the main crossing of the river until a new bridge was built further downstream in 1828.

(A life of St Bertram can be found in the 1516 edition of the Nova Legenda Angliae.)

(*The village of Ilam is in Staffordshire and not Derbyshire as most people believe and most searches on the internet would seem to indicate. Although its postal location is given as: Ashbourne, Derbyshire and it also has a Derby postcode, it is located just over the border in Staffordshire.)

Articles on our visits to Lastingham will appear below as they become available but first, ...

A Short History of St Mary's Church, Lastingham

St Mary's Church, LastinghamMost of the early history of the church comes to us from the Venerable Bede who, in A.D. 731, completed his history of the English Church and People, when he was a monk at the monastery in Jarrow.

The Story of Ct. Cedd and St. Chad founding the Monastery in Lastingham.

"During his episcopate among the east Saxons, God's Servant Cedd often Visited his own province of Northumbria to preach. Ethelwald, son of king Oswald, who ruled the province of Deira, Knowing Cedd to be a wise, holy and honourable man, asked him to accept a grant of Land to found a monastery, to which he himself might often come to pray and hear the word of God, and where he might be buried: for he firmly believed that the daily prayers of those who would serve God there would be a great help to him. The King's previous chaplain had been Cedd's brother, a priest named Caelin, a man equally devoted to God, who had ministered the word and sacraments to himself and his family, and it was thought of him that the King came to know and love the bishop. In accordance with the King's wishes, Cedd Chose a site for the monastery among some high and remote hills, which seemed more suitable for the dens of robbers and haunts of wild beasts than for human habitation. His purpose in this was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah: "in the haunts where dragons once dwelt shall be pasture, with reeds and rushes", and he wished the fruits of good works to spring up where formerly lived only wild beasts, or men who lived like beasts.

"The Man of God wished first of all to purify the site of the monastery from the taint of earlier crimes by prayer and fasting, and make it acceptable to God before laying the foundations. He therefore asked the King's permission to remain there throughout the approaching season of Lent, and during this time he fasted until evening every day except Sunday according to custom. Even then he took no food but a morsel of bread, an egg and a little watered milk. he explained that it was the custom of those who had trained him in the rule of regular discipline to dedicate the site of any monastery to God with prayer and fasting. But then days before the end of Lent a messenger arrived to summon him to the King. So that the king's business should not interrupt the work of dedication, Cedd asked his brother Cynebil to complete this holy task. The latter readily consented, and when the period of prayer and fasting came to an end , he built the monastery now called Lastingham, and established there the observances of the usage of Lindisfarne where he had been trained.

"When Cedd had been bishop of the province and administered the affairs of the monastery for many years through his chosen representatives, he happened to visit the monastery at the time of plague, and there he fell sick and died. He was first buried in the open, but in the course of time a stone church was built, dedicated to the blessed mother of God, and his body was re-interred in it on the right side of the altar.

"The bishop bequeathed the abbacy of the monastery to his brother Chad, who subsequently became a bishop. The four brothers I have mentioned - Cedd, Cynebil, Caelin and Chad - all became famous priests of our Lord, and two became bishops, which is a rare occurrence in one family. When the brethren of Cedd's monastery in the province of the East Saxons heard that their founder had died in the province of Northumbria, about thirty of them came wishing, God willing, either to live near the body of their Father, or to die and be laid to rest at his side. They were welcomed by their brothers and fellow-soldiers of Christ, and all of them died there of the plague with the exception of one little boy who was preserved from death by the prayers of his father Chad."

Articles on our visits to Walsingham can be found below but first ...

A brief history of the Shrines of Our Lady of Walsingham

Seal of the Medieval shrineWalsingham became a major centre of pilgrimage in the eleventh century. In 1061, according to the Walsingham legend, an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman, Richeldis de Faverches, had a vision of the Virgin Mary in which she was instructed to build a replica of the house of the Holy Family in Nazareth in honour of the Annunciation. Her family name does not appear in the Domesday Book.

When it was built the Holy House in Walsingham was panelled with wood and contained a wooden statue of an enthroned Virgin Mary with the child Jesus seated on her lap. Among its relics was a phial of the Virgin's milk.

Walsingham became one of Northern Europe's great places of pilgrimage and remained so through most of the Middle Ages.

The Priory

A priory of Canons Regular was established on the site in 1153; founded in the time of Edward the Confessor, the Chapel of Our Lady of Walsingham was confirmed to the Augustinian Canons a century later and enclosed within the priory. The shrine immediately became a famous place of pilgrimage and the faithful came from all parts of England and the Continent until the destruction of the priory under King Henry VIII in 1538.

There were many gifts of lands, rents and churches to the canons of Walsingham and many miracles were sought and claimed at the shrine. Several English kings visited the shrine, including Henry III (1231 or 1241), Edward I (1289 and 1296), Edward II in 1315, Edward III in 1361, Henry VI in 1455, Henry VII in 1487 and finally Henry VIII, who was later responsible for its destruction when the shrine and abbey perished in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Two of Henry VIII's wives - Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn - also made pilgrimages to the shrine.

Roman Catholic Shrine

The Slipper Chapel - The Roman Catholic ShrineBy a rescript of 6 February 1897 Pope Leo XIII blessed a new statue 'for the restored ancient sanctuary of Our Lady of Walsingham'. This was sent from Rome and placed in the Holy House Chapel at the newly built Roman Catholic parish church of King's Lynn (the village of Walsingham was within the parish) on 19 August 1897 and on the following day the first post-Reformation pilgrimage took place to the Slipper Chapel at Walsingham, which was purchased by Charlotte Boyd(e) in 1895 and restored for Catholic use. Hundreds of Catholics attended the pilgrimage and committed themselves to an annual pilgrimage (from 1897-1934 on Whitsun) to commemorate this event. Archives are kept at Kings Lynn and Walsingham.

In 1900 a caretaker was placed in the Priest's House at the Slipper Chapel (said to have been built in 1338); to facilitate its use by Catholic pilgrims, under the custody of the monks at Downside Abbey. Both Father Wrigglesworth (the Catholic parish priest of King's Lynn and Walsingham) and Father Fletcher (Founder and Master of the Guild of Ransom) laid the foundations and left others to declare the Catholic National Shrine at the Slipper Chapel on 19 August 1934 with over 10,000 pilgrims present. Attempts to purchase the abbey site were unsuccessful (even though one of the Lee-Warners became a Catholic in 1899); however in 1961 the site of the original Holy House within the priory ruins was excavated by members of the Royal Archaeological Institute.

Anglican Shrine

As a result of the initiative of the Anglican vicar of Walsingham (from 1921), Father Alfred Hope Patten, an Anglican Marian shrine has been established in Walsingham. Building began in 1931 and pilgrimages are now held through most months of the year.

The Anglican National Pilgrimage takes place on the Spring Bank Holiday (the Monday following the last Sunday in May) and is regularly met by Protestant picket lines. The Student Cross pilgrimage on Good Friday visits both the Anglican and Catholic shrines and the National Youth Pilgrimage is in the first week of August, also visiting the Anglican shrine.

Ecumenical opportunities have been seen in Walsingham, and there is an interaction between the two shrines. In the Anglican shrine there is a small pan-Orthodox chapel and the Orthodox have a further presence at the former railway station which has been converted into the church of St Seraphim.

The above information has been condensed from the Wikipedia entry for Walsingham. Further information can be obtained from both the Anglican Shrine and Roman Catholic Shrine websites