I am delighted to inform you that Jane Nichols has been invited by Bishop Gavin to become a Member of the Fellowship of St Birinus. This was founded in 2009 to honour people who have given exceptional service in some way or other to their church and community over a number of years. When invited to put forward a candidate, I had no hesitation in nominating Jane in recognition of the service she gives to the church and community of St. Bartholomew’s, in many and various ways.
Please join me in congratulating Jane on becoming a member of the Fellowship of St Birinus.
St Birinus was the first Bishop of Dorchester from the year 634 to 649 A.D
Birinus, a Frank, came to the kingdoms of Wessex in 634, landing at the port of “Hamwic”, now in the St. Mary’s area of Southampton.
Birinus had been made bishop by Asterius in Genoa, and Pope Honorius I created the commission to convert the West Saxons. In 635, he persuaded the West Saxon king Cynegils to allow him to preach. He gave Birinus Dorchester-on-Thames for his episcopal See. Birinus’s original commission entailed preaching to parts of Britain where no missionary efforts had reached.
In May 2009 the Fellowship of St Birinus held its first meeting at Dorchester Abbey. The Bishop of Dorchester founded the Fellowship, with the support of the Rector of Dorchester Abbey, as a modest way in which we can honour the people who have given exceptional service in some way or other to their church and community over a number of years.
At the moment the member’s total 112, they each receive a certificate showing why they were nominated and from this year all members (present and future) will receive a lapel pin badge showing the symbol of St Birinus.