Photo: Saint Wilfrid by Sara Shamma – part of From Rome to Ripon, an art installation in collaboration with Art in the Churches, currently on display at Ripon Cathedral.
1350 years after Wilfrid built the crypt at Ripon Cathedral, his life and story continue to inspire Christians not only in Ripon but in thousands of miles from these shores.
The cathedral’s founding saint was a great missionary, travelling to Rome on three occasions, undertaking missionary work in Frisia and Sussex and building churches across England.
Seven churches in four countries, dedicated to St Wilfrid, have responded to an invitation to the worldwide Anglican community to share the cathedral’s 1350th celebrations this year, with a request from Bishop Seth Ndayirukiye from the diocese of Matana, in the east-central African country of Burundi, to name a brand new church in his diocese after St Wilfrid.
This weekend Bishop Ndayirukiye will visit the Cathedral Church of St Wilfrid and St Peter ahead of the Lambeth Conference, which gathers together bishops from across the Anglican Communion. The bishop will see for himself the Crypt, built by Wilfrid, which is the oldest built fabric of any English cathedral and will be interveiwed by the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, during Sunday’s 10.30am service of Holy Communion.
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson DL said: “I was delighted on hearing of Bishop Seth’s decision to dedicate his new church to St. Wilfrid. I was especially to pleased to hear how Bishop Seth is encouraged and inspired by St. Wilfrid’s zeal for evangelism and commitment to the Church’s mission. Burundi and England are very different contexts but both need to hear of the love of God, as revealed in Christ, in the 21st century. We have much to learn from Wilfrid as we shape and equip the Church in our generation to share that good news for all people.”
In this anniversary year Ripon Cathedral is offering other churches dedicated to St Wilfrid in America, Africa and Australia, the opportunity to join it remotely for special services such as Sunday morning’s Eucharist and for a lecture on Wilfrid. It is also pleased to welcome Christians from the Archdiocese of Utrecht, which shares a unique link to Ripon through one of Wilfrid’s most illustrious pupils Willibrord.
You can read more at Wilfrid Worldwide Web | Ripon Cathedral