Founding Saints

On 8th March, the feast day of St. Felix, Apostle to the East Anglians, something about our founding saints and the Walsingham Way

Returning from exile in Francia in the year 630 A.D.,  King Sigeberht travelled via Canterbury where his companion Felix – depicted here in a relief sculpture from Norwich Cathedral – was consecrated to  be the first Bishop of the East Angles.

Norwich cathedral Felix Copyright © Paul Hurst
St. Felix; Norwich Cathedral Photo : Paul Hurst

On Felix’s arrival at Rendlesham  the conversion of  East Anglian began.  Felix missionary strategy was to found a school and then churches at key sites throughout East Anglia

In the same year, Sigeberht  gave Burgh Castle to be  a monastery for a group of Irish monks who saw themselves as  wanderers for the love of Christ.

The Roman Fort at Bugh Castle

Led by  their abbot St. Fursey, they sailed the Broads river system preaching the Gospel as they went. Before long they were joined in Norfolk by St. Felix who established two churches close to Burgh Castle.  For the benefit of the royal court at Loddon, which was then a royal vill; and,  as his own  base, within the walls of a Roman fortlet,  in line of sight with Burgh Castle and within easy reach of Loddon, at Reedham.

The churches Felix founded at Reedham  and Loddon are both on the eastern leg of the Walsingham Way from Great Yarmouth to Norwich.    At the time of their founding Great Yarmouth was no more than a sandbank!

Author: norfolkpilgrim

Retired CofE clergyperson. Thinking globally acting locally. Here we have no abiding city.

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