Orthodox England

Excerpt from: Volume 7 Issue 3 Date 1st March 2004

St Felix and St Edmund Page


by Victor Allan

Here, on this quiet hill beside the sea,
The soil is consecrated. Here, the past keeps vigil ...
Here, Felix brought the Rood and raised his church ...
Tread gently - here, the chiming towers proclaimed
Worship and faith. Within those vanished walls
Beauty kept open doors, and with Her dwelt
Her comrade, Courage, and Her handmaid, Toil,
And busy hands and loving craftsmanship
Crowned Dunwich with that diadem of fame
Which barbed the envy of the ruthless sea.
Tread softly, traveller, in this meadowed shrine
Of ancient memories, England lies asleep.


And from a recent letter from P. B.
writing from the mid-Suffolk countryside

... It hardly seems possible that I am already preparing to celebrate my second Christmas here in Suffolk. The sixteen months since I moved here seem to have gone in a flash.

Life here is still absolutely wonderful. I am just so glad that I found the courage and faith to meet what, to a large extent, has to be seen as a very daunting challenge. I had no crystal ball to guarantee me that it would all work out well, so it was very much a case of trusting that small inner voice and doing what it was telling me to do. Something we all sometimes fail to do and live to regret it. Certainly, when I look around at the lovely place I have here, I would have had a lot to regret

You will be interested to know that all the visitors I had during the summer did not fail to remark upon the unmistakable sense of stillness and peace all around, which of course we know as the 'peace of St Edmund'. Since moving here, I have become deeply devoted to St Edmund and I was so pleased to learn that St Edmund's Day is still celebrated every year in Bury-St-Edmunds and other Suffolk towns. It would seem that he is deeply loved and venerated by Orthodox, Catholics and Anglicans alike.

Although, sadly, in other parts of the country, St Edmund appears to have become something of a 'forgotten' Saint, he still remains a very powerful Saint, especially when it comes to listening to prayers to him. When I first moved here, and began to read about St Edmund and his close connection with the old abbey dedicated to him, I quickly came to realize that he might be just the right Saint to help X who has had a chronic drink problem for the last five years or so and was failing to make any appreciable progress. I started praying for him every day to St Edmund, asking him to help him, as he must have once helped many a troubled Bury monk who turned to him for help and guidance. At first I did not seem to be getting much response until suddenly in the summer, he began to make progress and according to recent reports I have received, since then he has not looked back and is continuing to make excellent progress, keeping himself occupied in the monastery garden and kitchen. St Edmund had heard my prayers, and was proving that he can still live up to his reputation of having 'winning ways' with God. I cannot tell you just how overjoyed I am and I am continuing to pray every day to St Edmund for him.

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(c) Orthodox England - Published within the English Deanery of the Church Outside Russia: with the blessing of the Very Reverend Mark, Archbishop of Great Britain and Ireland.