St Cedd’s Church

Monastic Foundations

Cedd founded many churches. He also founded monasteries at Tilaburg (probably East Tilbury, but possibly West Tilbury) and Ithancester (almost certainly Bradwell-on-Sea).

Cedd also became abbot of the monastery of Lastingham in his native Northumbria at the request of the sub-king of Deira, Ethelwald (not to be confused with Ethelwald of the East Angles). Bede records the foundation in some detail, making clear that Ethelwald was put in contact with Cedd through Caelin, Cedd's brother, who was on the king's staff. Cedd undertook a forty-day fast to purify the site, although urgent royal business took him away after thirty days and Cynibil took over the fast for him.

Cedd occupied the position of abbot of Lastingham to the end of his life, while maintaining his position as missionary bishop and diplomat, often far away from the monastery itself. His brother Chad was to do the same. Clearly Lastingham was regarded as a monastic base for the family of Cedd, giving them intellectual and spiritual support and a place of retreat. However, Bede makes clear that Cedd appointed others to have day-to-day care of Lastingham, and probably Chad did the same.