Copyright of the Orthodox Christian Parish of St Aethelheard, Louth, Lincolnshire. Registered Charity No 1102841
Holy Father Aethelheard, pray to God for us!
There was a monastery in the centre of the market town of Louth, Lincolnshire, as early as the 7th century AD. It was here that Aethelheard was Abbot a century later. At this time, the Christian Church in Britain was still part of the one Holy Universal Apostolic Church, before the division between East and West in AD 1054. Early Christian missionaries to Britain had brought the faith as it had been taught by the apostles and established by the Holy Fathers: it was this faith that St Aethelheard defended throughout his life. He was made 15th Archbishop of Canterbury in AD 792 and for the next nine years found himself in the midst of political turmoil. Peace was eventually restored to Canterbury and henceforth St Aethelheard determined to maintain the Universal Faith unchanged. He insisted that all bishops sign a declaration of faith in the Holy and Undivided Trinity: which is why the words Guard the True Faith: Worship the Holy and Undivided Trinity are written on his icon. When Archbishop Aethelheard died on 12th May 805 AD he was mourned as a great and holy man. His tomb became a place of pilgrimage until it was suppressed as part of the Normanisation of England in the 11th century.
The founders of this parish were guided to choose St Aethelheard as their patron because of his connection with Louth. His Feast Day is celebrated on 12th May.
Troparion for St Aethelheard in the 4th tone
Archbishop of Canterbury and Abbot of Louth,
Champion of the Church in troubled times:
O Father Bishop Aethelheard
Teach us to guard the True Faith
And worship the Trinity
Holy and Undivided.
Pray to the Lord to save our souls.
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