Churches Festival: Annual Big Breakfast at Riby

The death of King Edmund EMN-140705-142543001
The death of King Edmund EMN-140705-142543001
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Enjoy Breakfast this Sunday, May 11, from 8.30am to 11.30am in the aisle of the beautiful church of St Edmund in Riby on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds.

The famous Big Breakfast event is in its 12th year and everyone is welcome to go along to sit and enjoy their breakfast in these unusual surroundings.

But if you unable to join them for breakfast, then why not go along for tea and cake on Saturday, May 10, from 1pm to 4pm, when there will also be a plant stall, cakes and produce, and secondhand books.

The church is open as part of the West Lindsey Churches Festival and their theme is “St Edmund, King & Martyr.”

Riby is one of only three dedications in Lincolnshire to be named after him.

King Edmund was the last king of East Anglia and first patron saint of England.

His shrine, one of the greatest in England, was in the monastery of Bury St Edmunds.

The legend goes - after a fierce battle against the Danes, he was tied to the tree, whipped and riddled with arrows.

Edmund refused to denounce his faith and yield his treasures, stating he would rather die for his people and his God.

It was then that Edmund was beheaded and his head was taken into the nearby woods and discarded into the undergrowth.

After the Danes had left, the locals came to discover Edmund’s decapitated body tied to a tree.

They then began a search for days to find their King’s head and, as all hope faded, they spotted a hungry wolf guarding Edmund’s head.

Although the wolf was hungry and cold, it refused to leave.

The villagers retrieved the head and travelled back to town under the watchful eye of the guardian wolf.

Edmund’s head was then placed together with his body in a temporary chapel, which was to become the site of many alleged miracles for visiting worshippers.

His body was later moved to Beodricesworth, or Bury St Edmunds, where the greatest miracle was witnessed.

It is said that upon opening his coffin they found his head and body were attached, with nothing more than a small red ring visible around his neck, and all wounds from the arrows had healed.

In 1014 St Edmund appeared in a vision to a monk called Ailwin at Spital-le-Street near Lincoln and informed him the Viking King Sweyn Forkbeard would be slain for his harsh taxation of East Anglia - which did indeed happen.

There is a lot of support that St Edmund should be reinstated as England’s patron saint.