Friendly Firminians

05 September 2014

NOT much is known about St Firmin, bishop and martyr. The Oxford Dictionary of Saints has little to say other than that he was probably a fourth-century missionary bishop who died in Amiens, or possibly a second St Firmin buried in the same grave - one a martyr, the other a confessor - each with a feast day in September.

It also notes that there are two ancient churches in England dedicated to St Firmin, and it is the congregations of those two churches who recently got together simply on the grounds that they share a saint.

Despite Hurricane Bertha, a coach-load from St Firmin's, Thurlby, in Lincoln diocese, drove through torrential rain to meet members of St Firmin's, North Crawley, in Oxford diocese.

The two priests - the Revd Mandy Marriott (Oxford) and Canon Janet Beadle (Lincoln) - met for the first time, and the two congregations joined together for a Songs of Praise service, followed by "a wonderful afternoon tea", Canon Beadle says.

They compared church buildings, and found that the Oxford church was the older by some 300 years. They are now planning a return visit from Oxford to Lincoln next year.

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