St Edmund, Patron of our Parish
The patron of our parish, St Edmund Rich, was born in Abingdon about 1170
of a prosperous family. After an education at the universities of Oxford and Paris, he
was ordained a priest, and returned to Oxford to teach theology there. He gained a great
reputation for both scholarship and holiness. In 1222 he was appointed the administrator
of Salisbury cathedral, from where he was elected archbishop of Canterbury.
He was valued by the local people for his teaching and preaching, his study
and his prayer, but his uncompromising stand in favour of good discipline in both civil
and Church government, of strict observance in monastic life, and of justice in high
quarters brought him into conflict with King Henry III, with several monasteries and with
the priests of Canterbury cathedral.
He journeyed to Rome to appeal for the Pope's support, but on a second such
journey he died at the Cistercian monastery of Pontigny in Burgundy, where on his
deathbed he called God to witness, "I have sought nothing else but you, O God."