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St Wulfstan

This story of the roasting goose is only one version but others agree that several servants were employed in the nearby kitchen, which may well have been on the site of the present vicarage.

It is not the current church that Wulfstan would have known but the earlier Saxon one, whose foundations still lie below the present site and it would have been the only church in what was later to constitute the large parish of Hawkesbury and there are elements of the Saxon masonary still to be seen in the current building.

Wulfstan returned to Worcester after his time at Hawkesbury and during the bishopric of Ealdred he became dean of the cathedral. After appointment as Archbishop of York, Wulfstan was elected Bishop of Worcester at the Easter Assembly of 1062 (in part assisted by Harold Goodwin, for whom he acted as confidante).

He went on to become one of only three Saxon Bishops to survive the purge of clergy following the Norman conquest in 1070, having been one of the first to submit to William I. He continued to prove his loyalty to both William I and William II who both regarded him favourably, a testament to his astute political skills.

St Wulfstan's window at Worcester Cathedral

A social reformer, Wulfstan struggled to bridge the gap between the old and new regimes, and to alleviate the suffering of the poor. He was a strong opponent of the slave trade, and together with Lanfranc, was mainly responsible for ending the trade from Bristol.
Wulfstan died in 1095 in his 87th year having been Bishop of Worcester for 33 years. He was buried in Worcester Cathedral, where his tomb became a shrine for many pilgrims. He was Canonised in 1203 by Pope Innocent III.

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