St Richard’s Day, 16th June.
Today is a commemoration of St Richard of Chichester, to whom our church at Winchelsea Beach is dedicated. Last year we were able to celebrate a patronal service on the nearest Sunday, but unfortunately that will not be possible this year. I have attached a collect and a recording of St. Richard’s Prayer.
Richard was born in Droitwich in 1197 and worked hard for his yeomen father to restore the family fortunes. Later he studied at Oxford and Paris and then in Bologna as an ecclesiastical lawyer. When he returned to England in 1235, he was made Chancellor of Oxford University and eventually Chancellor to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Edmund of Abingdon. When Richard became Bishop of Chichester, he was seen as a model diocesan bishop: progressing around his diocese on foot, visiting and caring for his clergy and people, generally being accessible to all who needed his ministry. He insisted that the sacraments be administered without payment and with a proper dignity. Whilst on a recruitment campaign for the Crusades, he fell ill at Dover and died there on 3rd April 1253. His mortal remains were translated to Chichester on this day in the year 1276.
A Collect for St Richard
Most merciful Redeemer,
who gave to your bishop Richard a love of learning,
a zeal for souls and a devotion to the poor:
grant that, encouraged by his example,
that we may know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day,
who with the Father and the Holy Spirit are alive and reign,
one God, now and forever.