St Alfege’s Feast Day

Old China has just reminded me that it’s local-saint-for-local-people St Alfege’s feast day today. Exactly 999 years ago today marauding vikings pelted the unfortunate Archbishop of Canterbury (who they’d kidnapped, failed to get a ransom for because he wouldn’t let anyone pay it, escaped and been recaptured) with ox bones at their own feast, until, according to which story you believe, a particularly evil viking finished him off with a cleaver or a kindly viking who had converted to Christianity put him out of his misery with a cleaver.

Of course the major shindig will be next year to celebrated the Saint’s millennium, which is one of the reasons the church is having a major spruce-up. Expect large scale commemorations then, but this year things are a bit lower-key. I’m guessing the one thing that’s off the menu both years will be ox…

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