« Parishioners of the Bishop's metochion in Rock's Farm made a pilgrimage to the spring of the venerable St. Edith of Wilton (+984) »

On October 24, 2018, a group of parishioners of the St Elizabeth metochion at Rock's Farm, Bodiam, together with nun Marfa (Persianinova), senior nun of of the metochion, made a pilgrimage to the spring of venerable Edith of Wilton (+984).

The ancient holy spring, located in the village of Kemsing, not far from the city of Sevenoaks in Kent, where Venerable Edith, daughter of King Edgar the Peace-loving, was born in 961, is a place of reverence for locals and Christians not only on September 16/29, but also throughout the year.

The group of pilgrims was accompanied by the head of Kemsing’s historical heritage center, who said that the healing spring flows through her garden, and often during unbearable pain in her legs, she resorts to the help of Saint Edith, dipping her feet into the water, each time invariably relieving pain. Pilgrims were shown a house located opposite the holy spring, in which the future nun of royal blood was born.

Hospitable locals treated the pilgrims with tea, happily told them about the traditions of veneration of St. Edith, presented three roses for St. Edith (as it turned out later, the roses are traditional flowers with which the local people adorn the spring of the venerable saint for two weeks in September). In the archives of Kemsing, pilgrims had the opportunity to see photos of the annual solemn processions to the spring, prayers, as well as the festivals of St. Edith of Kemsing and Wilton, held every 10 years. It should be noted the works of a local resident Victor Bowden, who devoted several decades of his life to collecting materials on the life of St. Edith. The pilgrims were able to familiarize themselves with a brief illustrated collection published in 2001 by the Kemsing Historical and Artistic Community, in which Victor Bowden describes not only the life of the saint, but also cases of healing through her prayers.
Pilgrims also visited the Church of the Mother of God, in which there is a banner dedicated to the saint, as well as two stained glass windows with her image. One stained glass window shows the holy Edith in the robes of a princess, emphasizing her royal lineage, the second depicts the plots of the saint's life: her journey, as a child, from Kemsing to Wilton, in the arms of her mother Wilfrida, and the healing scene.

The facade of the village club building is decorated with a statue of St. Edith, in which she is depicted with corn stalks, because Kensing farmers prayed to the saint for rich harvests and sprinkled water from her holy spring to their fields, although she is usually depicted as giving something to a beggar or a washing a foot to a stranger.

Before leaving the old and picturesque village of Kemsing, the birthplace of St. Edith, the pilgrims sung a moleben service at the holy spring under the gentle autumn sun.

Holy Edith, pray to God for us!