Pastoral Notes 23rd May, 2016

Our Northampton Diocese has a special connection with the feast of the Holy Trinity and also England in general. Our diocesan patron-saint, Thomas Becket, was made archbishop of Canterbury in 1162. As he had been the king’s chancellor, he was first ordained priest on the Saturday after Pentecost, and on the Sunday he was ordained bishop. He then decreed that this anniversary should be observed throughout his province as a feast of the Most Holy Trinity, over a hundred and fifty years before the feast was made general in the West. Bishops in those days clearly felt a freedom to act in their dioceses less commonly experienced today. We keep the feast of St Thomas Becket as our secondary diocesan patron on 29th December, the date of his martyrdom in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. Mary, the Immaculate Conception, is our principal diocesan patron.