Today is also the commemoration of Saints Dunstan, Ethelwold and Oswald, Anglo Saxon Bishops of the tenth century. St Dunstan is probably the best known, but Ethelwold’s life also tells a remarkable story. In the year 964, he removed the married secular canons of Winchester Cathedral, and replaced them with monks from Abingdon, who would live out their monastic and liturgical life in purity of heart. This policy was later repeated in other English Cathedrals, giving rise to a peculiarly English institution, the ‘Cathedral Priory’. Eventually, seven Cathedrals came to be served by Benedictines.

So, today as we give thanks for these three Bishops, let us pray for the Church in our own country, for her growth in number and in merit. May God bless you this day.