On Monday 22nd January 2018, following the 8.30 a.m. celebration by His Grace Bishop Irenei of the daily Liturgy at the Parish of St Elizabeth the New Martyr in Wallasey (please note, Bishop Irenei will also be celebrating the full Hierarchical Service at St Elizabeth's the previous day, Sunday 21st January), His Grace will, together with the parish rector and Chancellor of the Diocese, Archpriest Paul Elliott, lead a small pilgrimage for parishioners and any others to Chester, to venerate the shrine of St Werburgh.
The precise timing of departure to Chester will depend on the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy and a small breakfast to follow. For details on taking part in the pilgrimage, please contact Fr Paul Elliott directly.
Background information on the Saint
St Werburgh (also spelled Wærburh, Werburh or Werburga) (reposed 3rd February 699 at Trentham in modern-day Staffordshire) was an Anglo-Saxon princess who became the patron saint of the city of Chester in Cheshire. She was born at Stone (now in Staffordshire), and was the daughter of the Christian King Wulfhere of Mercia and his wife St Ermenilda. She obtained her father's consent to enter the Abbey of Ely, which had been founded by her great aunt Etheldreda (or Audrey), the first Abbess of Ely and former queen of Northumbria, whose fame was widespread. St Werburgh was trained at home by St Chad (afterwards Bishop of Lichfield), and by her mother; then in the cloister by her aunt and grandmother. St Werburgh was a nun for most of her life, and was instrumental in convent reform across England. She eventually succeeded her mother Ermenilda, her grandmother Seaxburh, and great-aunt Etheldreda as fourth Abbess of Ely.
The next Archpastoral visitation of His Grace Bishop Irenei will be from 4th - 23rd July. Below is an outline confirmed visitations on that stay.
- 6th-8th: Commemorative Festivities of the Holy Royal Martyrs on the Isle of Wight.
- Thursday 12th: Feast of Sts Peter & Paul:Venue to be announced.
- Saturday 14th: DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE: To the miraculous well of St Margaret and St Frideswide in Binsey (near Oxford), with Divine Liturgy in the ancient church at 9.45 a.m. followed by moleben at the Holy Well. His Grace will chair a meeting of the Diocesan Council this day as well. At 5.00 p.m., Vigil at the Diocesan Cathedral.
- Sunday 15th: 9.45 a.m.: Greeting and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy (10.00) at Dicoesan Cathedral.
- Monday 16th: 6.00 p.m.: Vigil of the Feast (Diocesan Cathedral, lower Church).
- Tuesday 17th: Feast of the Holy Royal Martyrs (Altar Feast of Cathedral lower Church): 9.00 a.m. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Feast, followed by a luncheon in Cathedral Hall in honour of Feast and the 100th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Royal Family.
- Wednesday 18th: Royal Martyrs Sts Elisabeth & Barbara: Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in Cathedral.
- Saturday 21st: Kazan Icon of the Theotokos, the Altar Feast of the Cardiff Parish: 9.00 a.m. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Feast in Cardiff. Reception to follow Liturgy.
- Sunday 22nd:Altar Feast of St Elisabeth, Wallasey: 9.45 greeting of the Bishop, 10:00 Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Feast in Wallasey, with Cross Procession and veneration of relics of St Elisabeth and St Barbara. A Garden Party will follow the Liturgy.
Spiritual talks will be scheduled during the visit. As ever, those wishing to meet formally with the Bishop are invited to contact the Diocesan Chancellor, Archpriest Paul Elliott, to have a meeting added to the calendar, or to approach Bishop Irenei directly during his visit to speak personally.
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