St.Chad

Chad was one of four brothers born in Northumberland, all of whom became priests, they were taught by S. Aidan at Lindisfarne.

When Chad left the North of England he travelled to Ireland and then returned to Yorkshire where he succeeded his brother Cedd as Abbot of Lastingham.

Chad eventually became Bishop of Mercia in 669 and chose Lichfield as the centre of his vast Diocese.

He built a small church dedicated to Our Lady on the site the present S. Chad’s Church at Stowe not far from the present Cathedral.

His huge Diocese stretched from The Thames in the south, the Severn in the west and across to Lincolnshire in the east. He travelled this vast Diocese on foot and only resorted to horseback after being ordered to do so by Archbishop Theodore.

Chad died in Lichfield on 2nd March 672 and was buried at Stowe.

In 700 Bishop Hedda built a new church on the site of the present Cathedral and the body of Chad was transferred there. The building that stands upon the site today was started in 1195 and Chad’s earthly remains laid there until the destruction of his shrine in 1541.

It is alleged that his bones were removed for safe keeping and eventually came into the possession of Henry & William Hodshead, two brothers who lived at High Arcal Farm at Woodsetton. When Henry was dying in 1615 he entrusted the bones to Fr. Peter Turner as he was administering the last rites to him, he had had them concealed in the frame of his bed. A window depicting this story can be seen in the Roman Catholic Church of S. Chad & All Saints in Sedgley.

They were then taken to Boscobel House which was owned by the Fitzherberts a Roman Catholic Family, they eventually moved to Aston Hall at Stone where the bones were in a casket under the Altar.

The relics are now situated over the High Altar in S. Chad’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Birmingham where they are solemnly exposed during the octave of the Feast of S. Chad (2nd March).

It is commonly thought that the reason for the dedication of our Church and Parish to S. Chad is due to the discovery of his relics in Woodsetton, just within the parish boundary.