« Pilgrimage to St Birinus of Dorchester »

On Sunday 16th December, the feast of St Birinus of Dorchester, Apostle of Wessex, members of the Orthodox Parish of St Nicholas in Oxford made a pilgrimage to Dorchester-on-Thames in honour of the saint. The group was led by Archpriest Stephen Platt, rector of the parish, assisted by Deacon Alexei Kostyanovsky. 
St Birinus brought the Gospel to Wessex (what is now central southern England) around 630AD, and baptised King Cynegils of Mercia in the River Thames at Dorchester, which became the place of his cathedral. 
The pilgrims first visited the historic Dorchester Abbey, where they venerated the site of the shrine of St Birinus, though now, sadly, none of his holy relics survive there. Father Stephen gave a short talk about the saint and pointed out some of the historical features of the Abbey church. 
Next the pilgrim group walked to the Catholic Church of St Birinus, built at the place of the baptism of King Cynegils by St Birinus. A molieben to the saint was served before the icon venerated inside this beautiful little church. After the prayer service, the group was welcomed warmly by the parish priest, Fr John Osman, who invited all into the parish house for tea and refreshments.