Fursey week celebrates arrival of Christianity to E Anglia
St Fursey brought Christianity to East Anglia 1300 years ago, and this year he is being celebrated in Norfolk from October 7 - 13 with events including a service, pilgrimmage, drinks reception, talk and discussion.
St. Fursey. King Siegbert, King of East Anglia (629-634) was the first English king to come to the throne a Christian, and was instrumental in bringing Christianity in our part of the country. While St. Felix founded the bishopric in Dommoc (Dunwich?), St. Fursey from Ireland was given the site of Burgh Castle for his monastery. It’s a plausible and endearing thought to imagine Fursey’s Celtic-inspired oval monastery sitting in the middle of the remains of the rectangular, Roman military fort, and resourcing outreach into the countryside beyond.
The pilgrimage on October 7
The pilgrimage, organised by the Fursey Pilgrims, will commence at 2.30pm with a Service in Burgh Castle Parish Church. The guest preacher for the event will be The Revd Canon Dr Peter Doll. Peter is Canon Librarian of Norwich Cathedral responsible for the ministry of learning, which includes the library and working with schools and community groups.
After the service we will walk to the ruins of the Roman Fort, within which is the traditional site of Fursey's East Anglian monastery, for prayers which will include Fursey's own prayer, his Lorica. We will conclude the afternoon with tea in the village hall. There is a large car and coach park off Butt Lane with wheelchair friendly direct access to both the Church and Roman Fort. For map click here and then on the site’s Find Us tab.
As in previous years, there will be the opportunity to meet up before the service over lunch at the Queen's Head, Burgh Castle, at 12 noon. Meals should be booked in advance (By Sept 30) with Maureen Grey at email@example.com
The reception, talk, and reflective liturgy on October 13
This event will commence at St. Luke’s Church, Norwich, at 6.30pm with a reception of drinks and light refreshments, by an Eastern Orthodox priest from America, Father Brendan Pelphrey, who has participated in dialogue with HH the Dalai Lama and many representatives of Asian Buddhism in China, Tibet, Nepal, and Mongolia. He has published widely in the areas of English Christian mysticism, Christian spirituality, and interfaith dialogue.
He will reflect on what East Anglia’s other great spiritual figure, Julian of Norwich, may have thought about her local saint. Both St Fursey and Julian seem to have had the experience of near-death. Both saw the flames of eternal judgment, though there are significant differences. Julian seems to have emerged from the experience with a very different impression; or did she? For more details, click here.
The evening will finish at 9.30pm, following a reflective liturgy derived from 'Nobilitate vigens Furseus' - The Medieval Office of St Fursey, published by the Fursey Pilgrims
Click here for map and booking information