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The Rockin' Rev August 2019

ROCKIN REV

Wanting to make the most of a few days away at Hunstanton in July, and not having been there before, I did a bit of research courtesy of Google. It got me looking forward to visiting the various traditional and colourful seaside attractions. I couldn’t wait to walk the coastal paths, lounge around on the beaches, gaze at the cliffs, and explore the town’s parks and open spaces

 
ROCKIN' REV 08-2019AThen, shock, horror, I made a startling discovery! It turns out that St George wasn’t the first patron saint of England. That honour goes to St Edmund, or Edmund the Martyr, a King who ruled the Anglo-Saxon realm of East Anglia, in the 9th century AD
 
Edmund was born on Christmas Day in 841AD. He stepped ashore at Hunstanton to claim his kingdom and succeeded to the throne of East Anglia in 856AD. He fought against Viking and Norse invaders but Edmund and his forces were eventually defeated. Edmund was ordered to renounce his Christian faith but refused. I imagine you can guess what happened next
 
The name of St Edmund lives on today. It's been reported that sometime after his death his body was interred at a monastery in the small royal town of Bedericesworth. The shrine attracted pilgrims and the monastery grew ever more important. People soon started to call the town "Saint Edmund's bury" now known as Bury St Edmunds
 
ROCKIN' REV 08-2019BSo, as I planned my few days away at Hunstanton I scheduled a visit to the sparse remains of a 13th 
century chapel built in honour of St Edmund which still stands beside the lighthouse overlooking Old Hustanton beach

 
In 2013 there was a tongue-in-cheek campaign (or maybe it was serious) to reinstate St Edmund as patron saint of England. I guess nothing came of it. If you see a patriotic flag flown to mark England’s national day it’s more likely to be on April 23rd which is the anniversary of St George’s death. But if, on November 20th, you see a flag bearing a white dragon fluttering in the wind why not spare a thought for St Edmund
 
ROCKIN' REV 08-2019CBy all accounts Edmund was a tall, well-built man, with fair hair. He was wise, brave, honest, and generous to the poor. He wasn’t a mad militarist but served his nation selflessly and laboured for the good of the people he served as king. Under Edmund a nation was united. Perhaps his example of Christian devotion, humility, care, concern, and self-sacrifice, still carries with it a message for us today


Rev Brian Hall
Vicar, St Andrew’s Church

 

as published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine

 

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