Today is the feast day of the Venerable Bede. Now Bede was quite a character and those of you who have visited Durham cathedral will have no doubt seen his tomb in the Galilee Chapel there.
"It is possible that the inventor of the concept of the English was actually Pope Gregory the Great, when around 580 noticing fair haired slaves for sale in an Italian marketplace he was told that they were Angles: ‘Not Angles, but angels’ was said to be his reply. Whether this story is true or not, what is known is that in 596 AD Pope Gregory dispatched a Roman mission of 40 monks headed by Augustine, the prior to the Benedictine monastery of St. Andrew in Rome, to convert these pagan ‘angels with dirty faces’ to Roman Christianity."
Bede was a Saxon monk and a hugely acclaimed scholar of the day and his works still used today -'Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum' or 'The Ecclesiastical History of the English People'. Bede died in 735 and was brought up from seven years of age by Benedict Biscop when he was placed in the monastery. It was Biscop who founded the monastery at Wearmouth and Bede in 682 moved to the monastery at Jarrow in 735. He lived and died there. We remember these two sites well, as we went on pilgrimage there with Phillip and Sheila Morris a good few months ago now. He was made a saint as late as 1899 and his bones moved to Durham Cathedral by Brother Alfred in 1022.
Bede was said to be the father of the calendar of the church year and his famous book tells of Christianity arrival as well as general history of the time. Bede was just dedicated to share his findings with others in any way he could.