Saturday, April 20, 2013

St. Vedast alias Foster


St. Vedast is a beautiful Wren Church, located at the heart of the City of London. It was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire in 1666. However, it was, unfortunately, gutted again during the Blitz. St. Vedast is an Anglican church in the Catholic tradition, a parish church within the Church of England.




The church is dedicated to a French saint, little known in Britain, who was Bishop of Arras in northern Gaul around the turn of the 6th century. Vedast, also known in Latin as Vedastus, in Norman Vaast, in Walloon Waast and in French Gastos, helped to restore the Christian Church in the region after decades of destruction by invading tribes during the late Roman Empire and to convert Clovis, the Frankish king. Remembered for his charity, meekness and patience, he is buried at Arras cathedral.




His name in England has been corrupted from St. Vaast, by way of Vastes, Fastes, Faster, Fauster and Forster to Foster, the name of the lane at the front of the church. That is why the name of the church is Vedast-alias-Foster. St. Vedast was venerated in particular by the Augustinian priors in the 12th century, and they may be responsible for the foundation of the few churches dedicated to him. Only one other church in England is currently dedicated to St. Vedast, in Tathwell, Lincolnshire, a third parish in Norwich now being remembered only in a street name. Nevertheless, a number of the works and legends of St. Vedast are celebrated in the stained glass windows of the church. 

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