St Alphege was born near Bath in 954 and died a martyr 1011. Little known today, his life is however an example and inspiration. Dr Giles Mercer, former headmaster of Stonyhurst and Prior Park Schools and author of a recent biography of Bishop William Brownlow, became interested in St Alphege when he became a parishioner of St Alphege Catholic Church in Bath. In this talk he gives interesting background information on Anglo-Saxon Britain and then outlines the life of St Alphege from his birth into a relatively well to do family, his call to the contemplative life, his becoming a monk of Deerhurst near Tewkesbury, his move to the monastery at Glastonbury, his promotion to Abbot of Winchester and then to Archbishop of Canterbury. His martyrdom at the hands of the vikings took place as he refused to allow the ransom money asked for his life to be raised from the poor of his diocese. St Anselm said of him ‘He who dies for justice, dies for Christ’.
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