Page 10, 23rd March 1979

23rd March 1979
Page 10
Page 10, 23rd March 1979 — jaChartcrhouse,

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People: Zachary, St Honiface
Locations: Crediton, Exeter, Winchester, Rome


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le Chronicle feels settled and mature.

Westminster has ordered that it be used as a church experimenting on the best use of inner city churches. It does not even have the huge population of pious secretaries who fill the lunch-time Masses in other places.

Its foreign waiters round about do not appear to be noticeably devout, Yet there are always people praying there. It is too fine, too grand a shop window to he called "redundant". And it has a fine choir for the Sunday 6 pm Mass.

One minor mystery. The colours of the Connaught Rangers — one of the great Irish regiments disbanded when

Ireland got a measure of independence — are recorded as having been laid up there, There is a plaque on the wall that says so.

But they have gone, and no one knows where they are, and regimental colours, however tattered, are not the sort of things you throw away. Does anyone know

The Apostle of Germany

THE little market town of Crediton in devon is going to celebrate the 1,500th anniversary of the death of St Honiface, the Apostle of Germany, next year. There will be religious celebrations and drama and sports and a Boy Scout jamboree.

He is said to have been born there in 680, though both Ireland and Scotland make rather half hearted claims to him. He was reputed to be of aristocratic birth — they always are — and he received the best education the Benedictines could supply at monasteries in Exeter and near Winchester.

He refused all ecclesiastical honours and got himself sent as a missionary to the Saxons in Friesland.

It's a long, complicated story of squabbles over jurisdiction, the difficulty of dealing with rowdy bishops, quarrels with Irish sionaries — some of whom he thought had not been ordained and some of whom he said were as ready to sacrifice for the pagans as to celebrate for the Christians.

He himself cut down a pagan oak tree — a gesture which would now be considered a monstrous act of cultural aggression which was then an accepted practice.

He went three times to Rome and was very insistent on the Roman connection. Germany already had more than its share of heretics, but he had the papal authority and a pallium and great political influence. His real name was Winfrid, and it was the Pope who called him 13oniface. ("Good-doer".)

Pope Zachary made him Archbishop of Mainz and Primate of Germany. In 780 he assembled some Christians for confirmation in what is now Holland. He had his party were there slain by irritated pagans. His body was found beside a blood stained book. It was by St Ambrose on The Advantage of Death".

His relics were scattered round Germany in the usual gruesomd fashion. His feast was first celebrated in England. He sems to have been a sensible man of good taste and literary ability with a God-given gift of ruling. He inusl have been English.

He is recalled with pride in Germany. His nape is rather against him in England — like St Winfrid et al ...

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