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in Berkshire, Part 2: Birinus spreads the Word
- King Cynegils of Wessex
wanted to marry the daughter of King Oswald
(up North). Oswald was very powerful and would help Cynegils in his
war with Mercia, but he was a Christian. He wanted
Cynegils to become
a Christian too.
- Some people say Oswald visited Cynegils at Easthampstead. He stopped at
Finchampstead and a spring miraculously appeared there when he wanted
- Bishop Birinus came too. He baptised Cynegils and made him a
Christian. Some people say this was at Fountains Garth in
Easthampstead, but it was probably at Dorchester-on-Thames
The King of Wessex gave him
this old Roman town so he could build a cathedral there.
- There was a big party there and Birinus baptised lots of the Saxons
in the Thames between Brightwell and Dorchester.
- Birinus went around Berkshire and persuaded lots of people to become
Christians by showing them miracles. At Tutt's Clump, near Bradfield,
he stuck his sword in the ground and it shone bright like a street
- Near Maidenhead, at Taplow in Buckinghamshire, he baptised the
locals in Bapsey Pond. He is said to have set up churches at Abingdon,
Reading, Hurley, Thatcham and other places.
- He died in AD 649 and was buried at Dorchester Abbey. He was called
a saint. Many pilgrims
travelled through Berkshire to visit his shrine in Medieval times.
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