St Anselm's Church

Some history...

The villages lie along an escarpment on the north side of a former glacial valley formed during the Ice Age and now occupied by the river Nene which flows northeast to the Wash.
There are many Iron Age settlements along this escarpment, succeeded by Roman and Anglo-Saxon farms and villages. Both Billings (Little Billing and Great Billing) and Earls Barton existed in those times. Earls Barton church has the most famous Saxon tower in the country from which the vicar preaches to the villagers on the adjoining green each year. The tower was fortified against the Danes who periodically raided the Nene valley during the Dark Ages. Both Billings are mentioned in the Domesday Book. The most interesting of these accounts is the presence of a priest in Little Billing where there is a Saxon font.

 

Our church at Earls Barton was opened and blessed on 3 May 1968. There is a local connection in that there used to be a priory at Weedon which was founded from the Abbey of Bec, of which Anselm was the second Abbot. Although this priory no longer exists, the name is still preserved in the name Weedon Bec. Earls Barton is a very ancient English village, and it seemed appropriate that we should have an early English Saint as our patron. Although Anselm was Norman by birth, he was Archbishop of Canterbury for some sixteen years, until his death on April 21st, 1109, aged seventy-six.

St Anselm altar.jpg
 

Anselm was, first and foremost, a man of God. From his earliest years he desired to give his life to the service of God and it is not surprising that he entered the monastic life as soon as he was able. There he led a life of prayer, drawing closer to God, by study as well as by contemplation. He became an eminent theologian, writing many scholarly works concerning the nature and attributes of God, about the mysteries of the Incarnation and the most Holy Trinity and many other subjects.