St. Edmund, King and Martyr

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The coloured glass window in the south aisle wall depicts St. Edmund and St Dorothea.

It was given to the church in 1929 in memory of the father and aunt of Miss C. Freeman and designed by local artist Mr. E. W. Twining. It is unusual in that it is painted glass and indeed was repainted in the 1980s by David Gommon, a well known artist and local parishioner.

Saint Edmund was born in 841AD, crowned King of East Anglia in 855, and fought alongside King Alfred against the Vikings. Captured by the Danes in 869, he was offered the chance to remain a puppet king if he renounced his Christian faith. He refused. So the Danes tied him to a tree, fired arrows at him and finally beheaded him.  He died on 20th November, which remains his feast day. According to his biographer, Abbo of Fleury, his head was miraculously reunited with his body, with the assistance of a talking wolf.

 

Edmund was killed near Bradfield St Clare, a village in Suffolk, but in 902 A.D. his body was taken to nearby Bedricsworth, where King Athelstan established a shrine in his honour which became associated with healing miracles. An Abbey founded here became a place of pilgrimmage and and Bedricsworth became Bury St Edmunds. Edmund was regarded as England’s patron saint, at least until King Richard I adopted St George as his emblem in the early 13th century.