St Herberts

Life Of St Herbert

Herbert, an Anglo-Saxon saint, who, during the seventh century, lived the life of a hermit on a small island in the middle of Derwentwater in the Lake District.  The island is still known by his name today.
 
A wall plaque which outlines his life may be found in the narthex of our church.  The life of St. Herbert is recorded in Book IV Chapter 29 of St. Bede's "Ecclesiastical History of the English People."
 
He was a close friend of St. Cuthbert, who was the Bishop of Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, which lies off the coast of Northumberland.  It was at the request of St. Cuthbert that St. Herbert took up the Christian vocation of living alone and serving God in Prayer.
 
Their friendship continued to grow and they would meet once a year to pray together and to discuss maters of eternal salvation.  At one of these meetings, at Carlisle, Cuthbert told of his impending death:
 
"Brother Herbert, remember that whatever you wish to ask or tell me, you must do so before we part, because we shall not see one another again in this world.  For I know that the day of my death is approaching, and I shall soon leave this earthly dwelling."
 
At these words, the other fell at his feet with sighs and tears, saying "In the name of our Lord, I beg you not to leave me!  Remember that I am your most devoted friend, and ask God of His mercy to grant that as we have served Him together on earth, so may we pass away to the heavenly vision together."
 
This wish was to be granted and Saint Herbert, after a long illness, died on the same day as the Holy Bishop, the twentieth day of March A.D. 687.
 
In 1374, The Bishop of Carlisle, Thomas de Appleby, issued a mandate that pilgrimages should be made to the holy island of Saint Herbert once a year.  Since 1983 pilgrimages have been made from Chadderton to Cumbria, our own parishioners joining priests and people from churches in the Lake District in crossing Derwentwater and concelebrating Mass on Saint Herbert's Island.
 
In 1984 the medieval mould from which pilgrim crosses were fashioned was rediscovered, and the pilgrims could once more wear this badge.  Not only does it recall those pilgrims of the fourteenth century, but it also symbolises that period 1,300 years ago, during the early days of the Catholic Faith, when the patron saint of our parish lived on his island and found eternal life in the service of Jesus Christ.
 
 
Each year in March Fr McKie arranges a day Pilgrimage to St Herberts Island, Derwentwater.
It is really worth a visit  and if you would like a relaxing day out then this is definitely
for you.