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Gentle saint

13 September 2013

A LARGE crowd attended the dedication of a new shrine to St Aidan in the chancel of the parish church at Bamburgh, on the coast of Newcastle diocese, believed to be where the saint died - on his feet, and leaning against the wall. The ceremony in St Aidan's was conducted by the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, who then went on to bless the village of Bamburgh (left) before meeting the children of Ellingham C of E School, who had placed a "time capsule" inside the stonework alongside the shrine.

St Aidan, based at his abbey on Lindisfarne, endlessly walked about Northumbria, taking an interest in the local community while he talked of the gospel and brought Christianity to the land. His shrine has been designed by Dr Donald Buttress, Surveyor Emeritus of Westminster Abbey (who also created the national memorial to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, in the Mall), and it took specialist artisans four months to construct.

An appeal by Bamburgh's PCC to develop and enhance the existing commemoration of the saint raised £40,000. "The new shrine to St Aidan", the Vicar of Bamburgh and of Ellingham, Canon Brian Hurst, says, "will serve to make visitors to our church pause and consider the effect of calmness, love, and spirituality in today's troubled times."

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