Bishop prays for victims and survivors of abuse at the Shine of Saint Winefride in Wales

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On the Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse, Bishop Peter Brignall is holding two services of prayer in a place he considers a beacon of hope and healing for those who have suffered at the hands of abusers.

The Bishop of Wrexham is at St Winefride’s Shrine in Ladywell, North Wales, to lead services at midday and 3pm on Tuesday, 30 April.

“Today the gifts of peace, hope and healing are to be found in this place by those who come here to pray for themselves, or others whom they know who are or have been the victims of sexual harassment, abuse or violence,” said Bishop Brignall.

“My prayer is with and for all who come to the Shine of Saint Winefride in search of truth and inner peace that they too may know her legacy in their lives.”

Bishop Brignall sees parallels in the experiences of the saint herself who, in 630, spurned the advances of Caradog, a chieftain from Hawarden who attempted to seduce her. The aggressor then pursued and decapitated her as she ran towards the church which had been built by her uncle, St Beuno. In the place where her head fell, a spring of water came up. St Beuno came out from the church, took up her head and placed it back on her body before praying and miraculously raising her to life.

The story, says Bishop Brignall, inspired him to make the shrine at Holywell a place of consolation for those who have suffered in their own lives:

“Over the centuries, the Well and Shrine in Holywell has been a haven of peace – a place of prayer and of healing arising out of the violence of physical and psychological attack made on the young girl Winefride.”

The Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse is marked annually in Eastertide on the Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter in England and Wales.


Statue of St Winefride dating from 1886 at St Winefride’s Well, Holywell, Flintshire.

With thanks to Sojourner in the Earth on Wikimedia. License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International