Sunday, October 30, 2011

St Medard(us) , Little Bytham

The name on the church struck me as we drove through Little Bytham last Friday. I have never seen it in England before:
The church is a Grade I listed building. It is dedicated to two 6th-century French saints, St Medard and St Gildard (or Medardus and Gildardus); the dedication is unique in the UK. Virtually unknown in Britain, St Medard is still well-known in France, with at least 25 towns or villages named after him (as St Médard or St Méard).[2] Gildard, thought to be his brother, is less well known.[3] The villagefête is held annually on or near St Medard's feast day, 8 June.
St Médard is particularly known in France for his association with bad weather - and once, as a child, was protected from rain by an eagle which hovered over him.

His feast day is celebrated on June 8. It is believed that, as with Saint Swithun, whatever the weather on his feast day, it will continue for the forty days following, unless the weather changes on the feast of St Barnabas (11 June).
One day, soon, I shall make time to visit the village, which was once a railway junction. The East Coast mainline trains still run through on a viaduct.

and talking of weather . . . Brooklyn's had a foretaste of winter.

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