The death of our Founding Father, the Revd David Abraham - July 2021
It is with great sadness that we report the death on 29 July 2021 of our Founding Father, the Revd David Abraham. It was in 1997 that David was with a group from Norfolk on the Pilgrims Way Pilgrimage celebrating the 1400th anniversary of the arrival of St Augustine in Britain and the death of St Columba of Iona. The East Anglia limb of the pilgrimage included visiting Burgh Castle, the traditional site of St Fursey's monastery. It was there that David's vision drew together the Norfolk group of pilgrims to become the nucleus around which The Fursey Pilgrims grew under David's guiding hand.
The funeral will be held on Monday, 23 August 2021 at St Cuthbert's Church, Wroxham Road, Old Catton, Norwich NR7 8TZ at 10.30am. The service will be a Requiem Eucharist with committal in the church before going on to the Crematorium. Donations will be put towards the refurbishment of the chapel at the back of St Cuthbert's which will probably have a subtle Celtic flavour when completed. The wake will be held in the church hall next to the church, all are welcome.
Fursey Pilgrims Leader Standing Down - April 2017
For personal reasons, Dr. Gudrun Warren has sadly had to stand down as Leader of the Fursey Pilgrims. We regret her decision, but thank her very much for all she has given to us. As no member of the Committee is in a position to take over as Leader, the Committee as a whole is temporarily taking on that role while future options for the Fursey Pilgrims are considered.
Burgh Castle Fort: Life outside the Walls - September 2016
The Norfolk Archaeological Trust received a £9,600 Heritage Lottery Fund Sharing Heritage grant in May 2016 for a project to find out more about the settlement that grew up outside the walls of Burgh Castle Roman Fort. The project has given local people the opportunity to get involved with investigating how Burgh Castle village has developed from the Roman period through to the present day.
The aim of the Project was to increase the knowledge and understanding of the vicus at Burgh Castle – both the settlement that grew up around the Roman Fort, and the current community. A geophysical survey of targeted areas of the vicus within the scheduled monument was commissioned, and a series of test-pits were dug in gardens and fields outside the scheduled area to provide information on the extent of the Roman settlement, and possibly the Anglo-Saxon settlement that followed it. An oral history project which captured memories and experiences of the fort site in the 20th century aimed at connecting the historic settlement with the more recent history of the community. Fursey Pilgrim Maureen Grey, who has lived in the village all her life, took part in this project. To read about Maureen's stories click here.
The results from the project will be shared through a permanent exhibition on display in the church, a dedicated ‘Life outside the Walls' website, guided tours and school visits, all of which will continue beyond the life of the project. In September a celebratory one day event was held as part of the National Heritage Days.
For further information visit: https://sites.google.com/site/burghcastlelifeoutsidethewalls/home/project-blog
Fursey Occasional Paper No. 9 - July 2016
We are pleased to announce the publication of the latest Fursey Occasional Paper No. 9, which is the lecture given by Professor Ian Wood in January 2016 on "Fursey and his brothers: their contribution to the Irish legacy on the Continent".
Fursey, Foilan and Ultan were not the first Irish ascetics to have an impact on the continent. Half a century before Fursey crossed to Francia Columbanus had established three monasteries in Burgundy, most notably at Luxeuil, to be followed by a fourth, Bobbio, in the Lombard kingdom. There has been a tendency to group all the Irish pilgrims on the continent together, but they came from different parts of Ireland,and brought different traditions with them. The spirituality of Péronne and Luxeuil differed radically from one another. Moreover, they were supported by different groups of patrons. Although they were overshadowed by the Columbanian tradition, the successors of Fursey and his brothers attracted the support of the Pippinid family earlier than did the houses linked to Luxeuil. Unlike Columbanus' Frankish foundations, they also maintained links with Ireland, both spiritually and politically. Comparison between the two traditions helps us to appreciate both better, and to be aware of the spiritual vitality of the seventh century.
The Royal Maunday 2016 - June 2016
The Royal Maundy is an old British custom when the monarch distributes the Maundy money to elderly people who have contributed significantly to their locality and neighbourhood. It takes place on Maundy Thursday, recalling Our Lord's command (mandatum) to love one another. Normally this takes place at a Cathedral, and the recipients are drawn from that diocese and area.
However, this year, being the Queen's 90th birthday, the service took place at St George's Chapel, Windsor, with a luncheon afterwards in the Castle. The 90 men and 90 women who received the Maundy were drawn from all over the country. We are delighted that among them was a long standing Fursey Pilgrim, Maureen Grey.
Maureen was nominated by the Bishop of Norwich “in thanksgiving for your service to church and diocese over many years”. After recovering from the shock, and the feeling that so many others could have been honoured, she replied that she accepted “not just for herself, but also for Burgh Castle, the Great Yarmouth Deanery, and the Fursey Pilgrims”.
Maureen was involved from the very beginning when the Pilgrims arranged their first Pilgrimage to Burgh Castle, the traditional site of Fursey's East Anglian monastery, in 1997. This commemorated the 1400th anniversary of Fursey's birth. Maureen welcomed us then, and in all the years since, and is a familiar face at Fursey events, and on the Pilgrims committee.
The Maundy seeks to honour those who seek no recognition for their life and work. Maureen has lived, worshipped and served tirelessly in the parish of her birth, through both good and difficult times. Her vision has expanded into the wider church and ecumenical scene, where she continues to contribute so much of herself. We rejoice with her at this time, and give thanks for God's grace at work in her life.
The Revd Canon David Abraham
Founding Father of the Fursey Pilgrims
New Fursey Pilgrims Leader - May 2015
After 13 years as leader of the Fursey Pilgrims the Revd Canon David Abraham has stood down. He will continue to be a member of the Fursey Pilgrims and, in recognition of David's contribution from its formation, he has been given the title Founding Father of the Fursey Pilgrims. Our new leader is Dr. Gudrun Warren, Librarian and Curator at Norwich Cathedral. Gudrun's Doctorate was on 'Angels in the medievil World' and she gave the lecture at our January 2015 Feast of St Fursey celebration on 'Angels and the Other World: the contribution of'Transitus Beati Fursei'. This lecture was published as number 8 in our Fursey Occasional Papers series in June 2015.
Sudden Death of Professor Oliver Rackham - August 2015
It was with great sadness that we learnt of the sudden death of Professor Oliver Rackham. Oliver was a good friend to the Fursey Pilgrims and, as a gift, had made the first translation of the oldest surviving manuscript of the Life of Fursey, which we were privileged to publish in 2007 as Transitus beati Fursei. Oliver was widely known and revered for his remarkable work with the natural world, and his books remain to inspire future generations. He was also a man of Faith, with a deep knowledge of Latin, and always a Son of East Anglia. To read a tribute to him by Fursey Pilgrim Philippa Sims, a cousin of Oliver, click here.
Vespers for the Feast of Fursey - January 2015
In September 2011 we arranged for the singing of ' Vespers for the Feast of Fursey ' in Norwich Cathedral . Following the success of this event we have been raising funds to publish a transcription and translation along with the music for this 13th century 'Office for Fursey'. This fund-raising has gone very well and we would like to thank all those who contributed. We raised a splendid £400 from individual Pilgrims and with donations from the Bishop of Norwich , and the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society , along with the money we already had in hand, we were able, in January 2014, to publish 'Nobilitate vigens Furseus' - The Medieval Office of St Fursey , our second ‘Fursey Primary Source' after Transitus .