St Chad is one of the great saints of the British Isles, and responsible for bringing Christianity to much of the Midlands, after the invasions of the pagan Anglo-Saxons. The Mercian kingdom occupied much of the area occupied by the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Midlands and there are many places associated with this holy man which are found close to our Coptic Orthodox churches. He established a monastery in Lichfield where he lived and finally died, and spent much of his time visiting even the smallest communities to teach them about the Lord Jesus and the Christian Faith.
We read of Chad, when he was a bishop, ” it was the custom of that most reverend bishop to go about the work of the Gospel in various places on foot rather than on horseback, Archbishop Theodore commanded him to ride whenever he had a long journey to undertake; and finding him very unwilling to give up his former pious habit, he himself, with his own hands, lifted him up onto the horse; for he thought him a holy man, and therefore obliged him to ride wherever he had need to go. Chad having received the bishopric of the Mercians and Lindisfarne, took care to administer these with great uprightness of life, according to the example of the fathers.
This brief post is about a holy place associated with this holy man. It is only 5 miles away from the Coptic Orthodox Church of St Mary and St Mina in Stockport. In the small hamlet of Chadkirk, there was once an ancient Church. The present chapel dates to the early 16th century, but an earlier settlement was in existence at the time of the Domesday survey in the 11th century.
He came here in the 7th century, and between 669 and 672 A.D. he wore himself out with his missionary endeavours. He came here to Chadkirk in those years, and blessed the spring which still flows there and was used from that time forward for baptism in the small churches which occupied this place and served the local Christians.
This holy well can still be visited at any time. It is holy because it was used and blessed St Chad, and his holy hands were immersed in these still flowing waters. When we visit this place, and places like it, we find ourselves connected to the saints who hallowed them, and who still intercede for us.
St Chad is the great missionary saint of the Midlands of England, and I will post more about him and the holy places associated with him in due course.