Tuesday, February 12, 2008

St Wulfstan

I had lunch overlooking Worcester Cathedral on Saturday and was reminded that it is the 1000th anniversary of the birth of St Wulfstan who was Bishop of Worcester under the last two Saxon and the first two Norman kings. He was the only Anglo-Saxon Bishop to keep his job after the Norman Conquest and the legend is that when he was asked to resign by Archbishop Lanfranc, he pushed his crozier into the stonework of the tomb of Edward the Confessor. Nobody but Wulfstan could remove it, which was considered a miracle and he was allowed to remain Bishop. He was famed for his powers of healing and prophesy and he stood up for Anglo-Saxon rights to property and preached against the slave trade in Bristol. He became a vegetarian having been distracted from his prayers one day by the smell of a goose being roasted and he died whilst engaged in the daily ritual of washing poor men's feet.


Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

He sounds a truly inspirational man, a man well ahead of his times. I wonder what he would think of the world today, how he would react. He was so humble too, how many clerics today wash the feet of poor men?

10:35 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Hi Ellee - yes Rowan Williams could still consider the crozier tactic if he's asked to resign. I think quite a few clergy do wash people's feet on Maundy Thursday but the daily routine seems to have gone out of fashion.

12:12 pm  
Blogger mutterings and meanderings said...

A fascinating little history lesson, Thank you!

9:02 pm  
Blogger Eurodog said...

I am sure in is day vegetables still tasted good, were not genetically modified and free of nasty chemicals.
Was the potato around then? Or did that come later?

7:58 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Greetings M&M
Hi ED - the potato was brought over by Sir Walter Raleigh 500 years later.

8:40 am  
Blogger kinglear said...

I was at yet another funeral yesterday ( that makes 6 with one to come since mid January), and happened to be looking around the church at the plaques on the wall - always a source of interest.
The one that caught my eye was to do with a minsiter of that church who had been in situ for six years - until the day he was taking a service and dropped dead with the words " .. forever and ever Amen" on his lips.
I guess he made it in.

9:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WW - couldn't you have a more catchy 'handle' like eminem-upside-down or something ?

My knowledge of history is dreadful - so I am catching up with some of it through my Christmas present - John O'Donnell's book about two thousand years of upper class twits in charge [or something like that].

So whilst it may not be a serious historical tome, it does at least allow me to place your anecdotes on some sort of time-washing-line to give me some idea of chronology.

1:58 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Hi KL - sorry you keep having to get out your funeral weeds. Thank you for the anecdote.
Hi Anon - glad you're sorting out your time-line.

2:33 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Whast a pleasant saint.

6:47 pm  

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