Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Indiana Jones and St. Chad

I just stumbled across this amazing article about the recent discovery of the tomb of St. Chad under the floor of the nave of Lichfield Cathedral in North England. This is incredibly cool, and slightly reminiscent of Indiana Jones style archeological excitement... St. Chad arrived in the Lichfield area in 669 AD to serve as Bishop to the Mercians, and lived near the Church of St. Mary. He was a gifted missionary Bishop and holy man. Later, he moved to the new Church of St. Peter. These two ancient Churches are the ones discovered under the floor of the cathedral, along with a now-famous artifact called "the Lichfield Angel." Another tidbit, of course, is that this is the Cathedral Church that Bishop N.T. Wright served as Dean through the 90s.


Blogger Matthew Francis said...

For those interested, I just found out that Chad was a disciple of St. Aidan of Lindisfarne...

10:00 AM  
Blogger kimberley said...

St. Aidan, patron of now-- Cranbrook?

10:43 AM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

Yes indeed, the very same Aidan!

10:53 AM  
Blogger matthew christopher davidson said...

Hey Matthew,

Thanks for that post, especially the photo. I wish I'd had a chance to visit Lichfield when I was passing through in October. As it was, I did manage to stop at Durham - mustn't leave without stopping at one of Tom Wright's churches!

After a while, the churches just all look the same. Big, old, covered in moss, holy, wonderful, evoking the sound of King's College Choir.

Sometimes, I must confess, I am re-tempted to join the Anglican church, just thinking about it. Does that make me weak-stomached?

1:10 PM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

It is a good picture, eh? One of those gorgeous sunny days England lives for. And I'll agree there is something affectionately enjoyable about the Anglicans. I did attend an Anglican Church in Calgary for several months in my first and second years of University, but I've never actually been an Anglican myself. That particular parish was quite hospitable, though I'd imagine it would be rather challenging to be one these days. A recent article I read said that if the current rates of attrition continue, the Anglican Church of Canada will be left with ONE member in 2050. But, of course, no one ever said following Christ would be a picnic no matter where you do it! And the line of the old song "I have decided to follow Jesus" comes to mind: "though none go with me, still I will follow!"

Thankfully they've got Bishop Wright and a lot of very good people in their midst to keep steering the ship towards Christ. (While recently Canadian theologian
Douglas Farrow wrote in First Things using this ship metaphor in a different way). Archbishop Williams seems to be an enigmatic figure, but is a gifted theologian and poetic pastor, which I admire. I do like the choral music and many of the old Anglican hymns. And, of course, John & Charles Wesley were lifelong C. of E. men... and I have a lot of respect for Evangelical Anglicans like Sandy Millar, Nicky Gumble, and John Stott, too. And, for that matter, Mike Pilavachi and Matt Redman.

I have been a member for several years of the Fellowship of St. Alban & St. Sergius, which has a about a 80 year history of promoting frienship amongst Orthodox and Anglican Christians, though when I joined I was neither!

What about your Anglican years was most meaningful and helpful to you?

2:14 PM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

In the first paragraph of that last comment there I meant it would be hard to be an Anglican, not a hospitable parish.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Jamie, Julie-Ann & Emily said...

Just to add my own little story...
I went to St Chad's College in Durham and recently met NT Wright after the Didsbury lectures.
Not that all of this has any importance I just can't be bothered marking the pile of books next to me so decided to comment instead!
Matt, did you manage to visit Durham whilst over here?

7:13 AM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

Hey Jamie,
Great to have you stop by.(Feel free to stop by CRFQ anytime you'd like to postpone your marking!) I did visit Durham briefly, and really enjoyed it. Gorgeous University and Cathedral. That's also tremendous you got to meet N.T. Wright. I met him years ago when he taught a course at Regent College in Vancouver, and he was extremely down-to-earth and brilliant at the same time. And he's also very much a Christian gentleman, eh? (kinda like your dad).

7:39 AM  

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