St Erkenwald

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Bishop of London. This seventh century saint was London's most important religious figure for many centuries. His diocese extended over Essex and Middlesex. Reputed to be of royal blood, he founded the monasteries of Chertsey in Surrey and Barking in Essex. He ruled Chertsey while his sister, St Ethleburga was abbess of Barking.

During his lifetime he had a great reputation for holiness. He helped to bring about reconciliation between Wilfred and Theodore. He died at Barking on this day in 693 and was buried in St Paul's Cathedral.

His relics survived the fire of 1087. His shrine become more ornate each century as it was endowed by London canons and merchants. It was a popular place of pilgrimage until it was destroyed during the Reformation.

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