Who’s Who ‘A’

Aidan St. Bishop of Lindisfarne d651. Monk from the Iona community sent at the request of King Oswald of Northumbria to revive the missionary work begun by Paulinus. Consecrated bishop in 635. His humility and asceticism won golden opinion from Oswald and his people. He founded a monastic community on Lindisfarne, and trained 12 boys to be church leaders, including Chad. Feast Day August 31

Alban St. and Martyr (c 305 or c 209). A converted pagan who sheltered a Priest either in the reign of Septimus Severus 193-211AD, of Leptis Magna   or later in the Great Persecution of Diocletian (284-305) for which he was killed.  Alban’s Shrine is at St Albans Cathedral.  Bede records Alban’s martyrdom in his HE drawing on Gallic sources. Gildas also records Alban’s death, along with two others Aaron and Julius, possibly Jewish Christian traders. The Abbey at St Albans was one of the great medieval Benedictine Monasteries.   Feast Day June 20

Alcuin, Scholar and Author c735-804Educated at York cathedral School, where her became Master. Became religious adviser to Charlemagne, Master of the Cathedral school at Aachen and Abbot of Tours in 796. He wrote educational manuals, poetry, liturgy and corresponded with King Offa of Mercia.

Alfred, King 849-99 King of Wessex from 871, born in Wantage. He defeated the Danes at Edington in 878, a great reversal of fortunes. His opponent Guthrum was baptised and the boundaries of Danelaw agreed. He founded the English navy.  Also, an educator, he had several important Christian works translated into English including Gregory the Great’s Book of Pastoral Rule and Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy as well as the Gospels and the Psalms and began a school at court to train future Christian leaders. He established a line of successors who became the Kings of England, particular his grandson Athelstan and Edgar. Feast Day October 26

Andrewes Lancelot, Bishop of Chichester, Ely and Winchester, Scholar, Overseer of the translation of the King James Bible or AV 1555-1626. Educated Pembroke College Cambridge, later Master of Pembroke. A Brilliant linguist, proficient in Greek and Hebrew. Arminian rather than Calvinist in theology, meaning that human will must respond to divine grace for justification and sanctification. He had a high view of episcopacy and believed ‘the real presence’ in Communion and a change in the bread and wine. He came to eminence in James I’s reign.  He presided over the London company of translators for the KJV, meeting in the Jerusalem Chamber in the Palace of Westminster. Politically supportive of James I, preaching at court after the Gunpowder Plot.   Along with Archbishop Ussher of Dublin, the most learned cleric of his day.

Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr and Saint 954-1012.  Hermit in Weston, Bath, Monk at Deerhurst, Abbot of Bath Abbey.  Bishop of Winchester, Archbishop from 1006. Captured by the Danes, he refused to be ransomed, and was martyred by the Danes by. being beaten with jawbones at a drunken feast. Feast Day April 19

Anselm St.  Archbishop of Canterbury c1033-1109 An Italian from Aosta who became Abbot of Bec in Normandy succeeding Lanfranc. A monk of great intellectual ability he wrote Monologion and Proslogion: proofs for the existence of God. He became A/B of Canterbury in 1093.  In 1098 he wrote Cur Deus Homo. Disputes with King Henry I marred his time at Canterbury. Essentially, he was a scholar monk rather than church administrator. Feast Day April 21

Augustine St., Archbishop of Canterbury c550-605 Sent by Gregory the Great to re-found the church in England. Arrived in Kent in 597. Ethelbert King of Kent professed Christianity, his wife Bertha already being a Christian. Began a monastic community in Canterbury, sent Justus to Rochester and Mellitus to London as bishops. Had little success in reconciling the Celtic church to Rome.