The Archbishop of York is to dedicate a Shrine to one of the North’s best-known saints.
Dr John Sentamu will visit Bamburgh in Northumberland to dedicate a Shrine marking the site where the 7th century Saint Aidan is thought to have died, in the chancel of the village’s Parish Church on Monday (August 26, 2013).
Following the dedication at St Aidan’s Church, Dr Sentamu will conduct a blessing of the village, before meeting schoolchildren from nearby Ellingham Church of England Aided First School, who have placed a ‘time capsule’ inside stonework alongside the Shrine.
The St Aidan’s Shrine has been designed by Dr Donald Buttress, Surveyor Emeritus of Westminster Abbey, who also created the National Memorial to the Queen Mother in The Mall.
It took specialist craftsmen and women four months to construct the St Aidan’s Shrine, which is the culmination of almost five years’ planning and a fundraising appeal to raise £40,000 by Bamburgh’s Parochial Church Council to develop and enhance an existing commemoration to the famous Saint.
Vicar of Bamburgh and Ellingham, the Revd. Canon Brian Hurst said: “It is a tremendous honour for Bamburgh that the Archbishop of York is visiting the village to dedicate this magnificent Shrine, which marks the place where the church’s founder and one of England’s greatest Saints died on August 31 in 651.
“The Archbishop’s visit highlights Bamburgh’s importance as a spiritual centre and its intrinsic connections with St Aidan who was instrumental in establishing Northumbria as a cradle of Christianity in the 7th century and in founding its ‘mother church’.
“Bamburgh church has the rare distinction of standing on the spot where its patron saint died and it has been a place of worship ever since. The new Shrine to Saint Aidan will be a fitting tribute to Northumberland’s Christian heritage and will serve to make visitors to our church pause and consider the effect of calmness, love and spirituality in today’s troubled times.”