St Bede’s History

St Bede’s History

Saint Bede The Venerable

(c 637—735 AD)

Most of what we know of the early Christian Church in England comes from the writings of St Bede. It is thought that he was born in Monkton, County Durham circa 637 AD. At the age of seven he
joined the Monastery at Wearmouth. He was ordained a deacon at 19 and a priest at 30.

In 682 he moved with the monastery to Jarrow, where he lived for the rest of his life. He travelled little, but made good use of the excellent library in the Monastery. He wrote about forty books on all aspects of theology and history. His love of truth and fairness, his piety and his devotion to the service of others, made him an exceedingly attractive character. His most famous work is his “Ecclesiastical History of the English People”, which gives a detailed history of both political and religious life in England from the time of Caesar to the time of St Bede’s writing in 731. This work earned him the title of “Father of English History”.

St Bede died in his cell at the Monastery in Jarrow on 25th May 735 and in 1022 AD his remains were transferred to Durham Cathedral. In 1899 Pope Leo XIII declared St Bede a Doctor of the Church, the only English person to be so honoured.

There are at least two theories as to his title of Venerable. Some say he was given the title by popular acclaim soon after his death. Others think it was a misprint of the Latin inscription above his tomb in Durham Cathedral. The inscription should have read “Here lie the venerable bones of Bede” but instead the inscription reads “Here lie the bones of the Venerable Bede”.

In the 1890’s our Church building started life as a Mission Room run by the Church Army for St Mary’s Anglican Parish. In 1936 the Mission moved to a new Church Hall built in the Square but the Mission Room continued to be used for various functions. In the early 1980’s, with the help of a loan from the Diocese the old Mission Hall was purchased by St Bede’s parish