Winefride, (Welsh: ‘Blessed Stream’) was the daughter of a seventh-century Welsh prince. She had taken a vow of celibacy. However, according to legend, Caradoc, a young nobleman, fell in love with her. One day, passions aroused, he made demands upon her which as a virgin and under her vow, she could not accept. She fled and he chased after her. He was so enraged at being rejected that when he caught her, he cut off her head, which rolled to where her uncle, St. Beuno, was at prayer nearby. At this spot, now called Holywell, a well of pure water sprang from the earth. Meanwhile, Caradoc fell to the ground, dead, and the earth opened up to swallow his body. St. Beuno replaced Winefride’s head on her body, and she lived. She became abbess of a nunnery at Gwytherin, North Wales, dying there fifteen years later. Her remains were brought to the Abbey in 1137.
In 1487 Abbot Thomas Mynde received a licence from King Henry VII to found the Guild of St. Winefride whose members were to offer daily prayers at her shrine for the King, the Abbot and the Guild and to support the church by prayer and thanksgiving.
In 1540, King Henry VIII dissolved the Abbey and with it, the Guild.
In 1987, the Guild was re-established to be a group of people who would contribute by prayer, gifts and service to the Abbey.
Life Membership: £75
Yearly Membership: £10
For details, contact the Guild Secretary, Michael Purslow at 01743 – 232723 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
God our Father, you give us joy
in honouring the memory of
May her example of courage and
faith be our inspiration.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,