North-easterly: Sidetracked by saints

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Few churches named after a saint have a historical claim to have been built by their namesake, but St Aidan’s church in Bamburgh is one of the few who have that right. The original church here was founded by St Aidan himself in 635, shortly after he was called to Bamburgh by King Oswald.

Aidan was a monk at the monastery on the island of Iona where Oswald had been raised as a boy. Aidan, like most of those who served at Iona, was Irish and, in the early part of his mission to Northumberland, King Oswald was obliged to act as his interpreter. King and monk shared a mission to bring their faith to the region and must have become close friends.

After Oswald’s death in battle at the hands of King Penda, the king was hailed as a saint and many miracles were attributed to his relics and…

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