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      THE STORY OF SHOREHAM         SAINTS IN A WINDOW  
                           
window of four lights, with reticulated tracery, is filled with stained glass from the Exhibition of 1851. In the four principal lights are figures of St. Nicholas, Patron of the Church, St. Mary, Patroness of New Shoreham, St. Wilfrid, the Apostle of Sussex, and St. Richard, a thirteenth-century Bishop of Chichester.   one at Portslade and yet another at Brighton-all churches of ancient foundation. This saint, we are told, was also regarded as the special protector of the young. One legend tells us that St. Nicholas miraculously restored to life, some children who had been murdered by a pork butcher, cut to pieces and placed in a tub of brine. The incident is depicted in the window at Old Shoreham, where the children are seen rising out of the tub, " safe and sound."In some countries the saint is regarded as the secret purveyor of gifts to children, after the manner of Father Christmas, whose Yule-tide visits are so welcome to the small boys and girls of our own land.
  St. Nicholas was Bishop of Myra in Lycia during the fourth  
                 
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        To St. Wilfrid belongs the honour of having converted the South Saxon Kingdom from Paganism to Christianity. His first attempt to accomplish this proved futile. Returning to England from Gaul, his ship had been driven by a tempest far out cf her course and at length ran aground on the Sussex coast. Then, as in later centuries, the natives were barbarous wreckers, and led on by one of their priests, they made a furious attack upon the stranded vessel. " To them," says Wilfrid's chronicler, " our great Bishop spoke gently and peaceably, offering much money, wishing to redeem their souls. But they, with stern and cruel hearts, said proudly that, `all that the sea threw on the land became as much theirs as their own property.' And the idolatrous chief priest of the heathen, standing on a lofty mound, strove like Balaam, to curse the people of God and to bind their hands by his magic arts."
        The Bishop's crew and retinue numbered 120, and offered a brave resistance, while Wilfrid and his priests knelt and prayed for their success. Finally, we are told, one of the Bishop's companions " hurled, like David of old, a stone, which struck the magician end pierced his brain." Three times the heathen attacked Wilfrid's followers, thrice were they repulsed, and finally routed with great slaughter. They were collecting larger forces for a fourth attack, when the grounded vessel floated with the rising tide, and the Bishop and his party got out to sea, with the loss of only five men. They sailed away and landed in safety at Sandwich, on the shores of Christian Kent.
                 
century, and died about the year A.D. 352. As all should know, he is the patron saint of mariners, merchants and bakers, and it is, therefore, appropriate that this old church, so well known from the earliest times to all those "who go down to the sea in ships," should have been dedicated to one who was ever a. favourite with sea-faring folk. We find another St. Nicholas at Bramber,  
  Such was Wilfrid's first experience of the South Saxons Some twenty years later (A.D. 680), owing tc a disagreement with the King of Northumbria, he was banished from his Archbishopric of York. He came again to Sussex, but this time as the honoured
                           
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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002