Chad was the youngest of four brothers who were some of the first students in Aidan’s school on Lindisfarne. Aidan sent him to Ireland as part of his education. When his brother Cedd died he succeeded him as Abbot of Lastingham, North Yorkshire. There he was known for his gentleness and humility. Later he was sent to be the first bishop of Mercia, where he built a cathedral and monastery at Lichfield. He didn’t feel himself worthy of the honour, but accepted out of obedience to the discipline he was commited to. He continued to live as a monk and always travelled barefoot. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, was troubled by this and encouraged Chad to ride; in fact he became so frustrated that on one occasion he lifted Chad on to a horse and sent him on his journey! After three years as bishop of Mercia, Chad died on March 2nd 672, after counselling his community always to be prepared for death, which “may call for us at any time.” It is said that angels visited him in his oratory with sweet singing, bringing a message that he would be summoned to his heavenly reward in seven days time, when they would return to lead him there. A disciple of Chad was chosen by Oswi, king of Northumbria, to be bishop of Nothumbria and was recognised by Bede as humble, devout, zealous and apostolic.

Lord of the angels, fill us with the spirit of gentleness and humility, that with glad obedience we may accept the tasks which you call us to do. Show us how to be an example to others, and by our good works to bring You glory and praise; in Jesus’ name. Amen.