About the Wilfrid Window

The window in the Wilfrid chapel, dating from 1977, is another sign of how much the memory of Wilfrid continues to be important in Ripon Cathedral. At the centre stands the bishop and beneath him are scenes from his life. We see how flames appeared at his birth testifying to his holiness, how as a young boy he was sent by the queen of Northumbria to study at the monastery of Lindisfarne, and how, when he was a missionary in Sussex, he taught the people to fish in time of famine.

In the lower part of the window we see St Peter and St Andrew, brothers who were leading followers of Jesus and took His message out into the world. Wilfrid’s church in Ripon was dedicated to Peter and the one he built at Hexham was dedicated to Andrew. Stephen of Ripon, who knew Wilfrid well, tells us that these were the two saints whom he specially loved. 

Not long after Wilfrid’s death, his biographer, Stephen of Ripon, wrote: ‘We looked on our holy bishop as a great man and a faithful servant of Christ, but our Lord, by the miracles he worked on his behalf made it known that he was no less than a saint living with Him in glory.

Reflection

On each side of Wilfrid in this window are the symbols of the four Evangelists who wrote the accounts of the life of Jesus on which Wilfrid’s faith and life are based. Wilfrid and his friend Benedict Biscop travelled to Rome to learn more about God and bring back books so they could learn too. As a result, the Anglo-Saxon church produced men and women who were eager to know God through the Bible and the created world – and to let that knowledge shape their lives.

Almighty Father… who made and shaped the bright creation…I acknowledge and willingly trust you alone, eternal God. You are the Lord of Life. (From the Anglo-Saxon version of the Creed).

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