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The Anglican Church has its roots in the indigenous Celtic Christian church of the British Isles. It is thus appropriate that our church be named for St. Hilda of Whitby. Born in 614 to the royal household of Northumbria, Hilda became a nun of the Benedictine order at the age of 33. Eventually she rose to the position of Abbess of the double monastery of Whitby. At a time when Roman rule and liturgy were gaining great prominence, Hilda and her houses continued to follow the Celtic tradition. That tradition, with its emphasis on the feminine, its love of mysticism, story-telling and poetry, and its recognition of the sacredness of all creation has enjoyed a renaissance in modern times both in its literature and art.
Hilda wielded great influence within the church and played a significant role in bringing opposing factions into harmony. Famous for her wisdom, she was abbess to five bishops, a patroness and supporter of learning and culture and mentor to Caedmon, the first English poet.
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|Icon " I beg you to
make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the
bond of peace."
||A portion of the Tapestry made by
members of St. Hilda's. The Tapestry hangs to the right
side of the altar.
Words ascribed to Hild
of Streaneashalch (Hilda of Whitby):
Trade with the gifts God has given you.
Bend your minds to holy learning,
that you may escape the fretting moth of
littleness of mind that would wear out your souls.
Brace your wills to action
that they may not be the spoils of weak desires.
Train your hearts and lips to song
which gives courage to the soul.
Being buffeted by trials, learn to laugh.
Being reproved, give thanks.
Having failed, determine to succeed.
The Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete, Sneaton Castle, on St. Hildatide, 2011