The Life of St Chad


St Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People tells us that St Chad was the youngest of four brothers, all eminent priests born of noble parents in Northumbria around AD 623.


They were pupils of St Aidan at his Lindisfarne school where they spent much time reading Holy Writ and learning large portions of the Psalter by heart.  When Aidan died in 651 the brothers went to Ireland to complete their training.


Later, Cedd, one of Chad's siblings, built a monastery at Lastingham on the North Yorkshire moors.  Upon his death-bed Cedd bequeathed the care of the monastery to his brother Chad, who returned from Ireland and ruled Lastingham with great care and prudence.  He received all who sought his hospitality with kindness and humility.


For a very short period Chad was Bishop of York where he left his mark on the affections of the people and at least one chantry* was dedicated in his name at York Minster.


From York, Chad was sent to be bishop of Mercia where he founded the see of Lichfield.  Holiness of life, outstanding humility and dedication to preaching the Gospel are attributed to him.  He died in 672 and was buried at the Church of St Mary which later became part of Lichfield Cathedral.


It is a model of Lichfield Cathedral that St Chad is holding in pictures and statues.

He shares a feast day with his brother St Cedd on 26th October.


*Chantry - an endowment founded for a priest or priests to celebrate Masses for the soul of the founder, or the chapel where such Masses were said.