Wilfrid 1300 Exhibition
St. Wilfrid's Church

Wednesday 23rd September 2009




An exhibition hosted to celebrate the 1300th anniversary since the death of St Wilfrid in 709 and St. Wilfridís Parish Churchís contribution to the Churches Together Fringe Events held during the Christ for the Nations Bible Week 20-27th September.

St. Wilfridís church has a very special association with the Saint it is dedicated to because the church is built within the ancient Pagham estate which once belonged to him!

1,300 years after the death of Wilfrid at Oundle in 709, this Fringe Event was an opportunity for the church to highlight the amazing life of one of the greatest and also one of the most controversial of the English Saints.

Note copies of a full colour brochure on the life of St. Wilfrid are available at the exhibition. A low resolution copy can also be downloaded here.

Wilfrid was born in Northumbria in 634 and, under the influence and support of the Queen of Bernicia, was first educated by Celtic monks at Lindisfarne (Holy Island) and then travelled to Gaul and Rome to study Roman church practices.  On his return he played a major part in influencing the change from Celtic to Roman ways of doing things, championing the case for the Roman, as opposed to the Celtic method of calculating the date of Easter at the famous Synod of Whitby in 664. He became Bishop of York with a See covering the whole of Northumbria, built magnificent stone churches at Ripon and Hexham and acquired vast landholdings and influence.

His rise to power and often difficult relationships with the crown and church leaders resulted in many powerful enemies and divisive conflicts. Twice he travelled to Rome to make personal appeals to the Pope where he felt he had been badly treated. His life was threatened many times being shipwrecked and nearly killed by natives off the coast of Sussex, imprisoned by the king and twice banished from Northumbria.

Locally we know Wilfrid from his time at Seal Island (Selsey) after his second banishment in 681 when he found refuge in Sussex under the protection of the king of the South Saxons and became the very first bishop of Selsey (Church Norton) and established a monastic cathedral there (well before the cathedral seat was moved to Chichester in Norman times). Bede recalls how St. Wilfrid converted the South Saxons, the last vestige of paganism in England, to Christianity and taught the starving people of Selsey how to fish.


The display remained in the church until after the Feast of St. Wilfrid on the 12th October 2009 and will form part of the Centenary Exhibition in 2010.


The exhibition including the displays and video and audio visual commentaries were designed and arranged by Peter Green and he would like to record his appreciation to Peter and Linda Beckley for all there help providing refreshments and also many thanks to Brenda Richards, Helen Wood and Zena Wood for all their help manning the exhibition, Carole Nighey and our  sponsors whose support made this exhibition possible.



Patronal Festival Recordings
Sunday 11th October, 2009

Eucharist - Address by Joy Gilliver, Director of Studies for the Education and Training of Readers, Diocese of Chichester

Evensong - Address by Fr. Mark on St. Wilfrid