Our church is dedicated to St Chad, the first bishop of Lichfield. Chad lived in the seventh century. He was a student of Aidan at Lindisfarne. In 669, when he was abbot of Lastingham, King Wulfhere, son of the pagan Penda, asked for a bishop to be sent to Mercia, in central England. Archbishop Theodore called Chad from Lastingham, and he set up a monastery at Lichfield.
Chad was a humble man who liked to walk from place to place, perhaps on old tracks across Cannock Chase. Archbishop Theodore persuaded him to ride a horse so he could travel further, but had to lift Chad onto the saddle.
Chad died at Lichfield on 2nd March 672 and was buried where cathedral now stands.
There is a shrine to St Chad at Lichfield. His bones, it is said, were removed at the Reformation and preserved by catholic families, at one time being kept at Aston Hall, near Stone. In 1841 they were placed in the catholic cathedral in Birmingham.
St Chad is still an inspiration to the Diocese of Lichfield, which invites us to “Come follow Christ in the footsteps of St Chad.”
St Chad’s, Stafford, has a central place on The Two Saints Way long-distance path and pilgrimage route.