St. Michael the Archangel, Audley
The Iconostasis at St. Michael's Church, Audley
Holy Resurrection, Dresden
Services, Contact and Parish Web Site
(two church buildings in Dresden and Audley)
DRESDEN: Saint Michael's Parish,
worshipping in the Church of The Holy Resurrection, Dresden.
Fr. Samuel Carter
The parish organises an annual pilgrimage
to the shrine of St. Bertram in Ilam, Derbyshire.
A Life of St. Bertramfrom the parish web site
Bertram was a King of Mercia around the 8th century. (His life was
written in the 1516 edition of the Nova Legenda Angliae.) Thinking he
might have a religious calling, he traveled to Ireland where such saints
as Patrick and Columba had lived. In Ireland he fell in love and eloped
with a beautiful princess. He brought her back to Mercia traveling while
she was pregnant. They lived a nomadic life, and it is thought that the
baby was born in the shelter of the forest near Stafford. Tragedy
occurred while Bertram was away hunting for food. Wolves came and killed
his wife and child.
Overcome with grief, he renounced royal heritage and turned again to God. He sought a life of prayer, and it is said that many pagans were converted to Christianity by the example of his life.
Bertram approached the court of Mercia but did not reveal his royal lineage. He asked for a grant of land for the building of a hermitage. This land was granted near modern day Stafford. Historians record the name of the hermitage as Bethnei.
A New King took throne. Not being a religious man, he demanded back the land on which the hermitage stood. It was decided that the matter should be settled by man to man combat. Bertram prayed for someone to come forward to fight for the hermitage. A man who was a dwarf came forward and Bertram remembering the David and Goliath accepted his offer. The dwarf was agile and quick and the hermitage kept its land.
Bertram is also linked to the village of Bartomley near Audley in present day Cheshire. It is said that Bertram, having dedicated his life to Christ, was sought out by the devil who tempted him to turn stones into bread. Bertram prayed rather that the bread would be turned to stones. In 1516 it was said that those stones were still in the church at Bartomely.
Bertram was known in the area as a wise and holy man. Many sought him out for spiritual advice. As seen throughout the history, holy men and women beset by people constantly and needing to refresh their souls seek solitude in quiet unpopulated places. Bertram found a cave near the present day sight of Ilam in Derbyshire. He lived there until his death.