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Bishop of St Germans in Truro eats daffodil during Easter Day sermon to make point about belief

06 April 2018


A commercial daffodil-field in the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall

A commercial daffodil-field in the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall

IN HIS Easter Day sermon in Truro Cathedral, the Bishop of St Germans, Dr Christopher Goldsmith, began by eating parts of a daffodil to represent how unusual news could spread.

Dr Goldsmith told the packed cathedral during the 10 a.m. service that individual members of the congregation would not be believed by other people if they told them about his performance in the altar.

He explained: “If, at the end of this service, one of you went out into the High Cross and told someone you had seen the Bishop eat a daffodil, they would not believe you.

“But if you all went out and told everyone you met the same thing, then it would probably be believed.”

He used the daffodil imagery to represent the way in which news of the resurrection of Christ spread from Mary Magdalene to the disciples, who in turn passed it on to hundreds of others, as the good news was related by word of mouth.

Dr Goldsmith did not carry the association of eating the daffodil with death and resurrection too far, however, by risking ill health. The stem and bulb of a daffodil are poisonous, containing lycorine, which can be lethal in large doses. The petals, however, are less toxic. Contact with the poisonous stem and bulb can cause what is known as “daffodil itch” or “lily rash”, but the petals are relatively harmless.

A spokesperson for the diocese of Truro said that the eating of the petals was an “old trick”.

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