Home > Worship Resources > Festivals & Commemorations > Chad, Bishop of Lichfield, 672 (March 2)

About the Commemoration

The Venerable Bede in his Ecclesiastical History draws a most attractive portrait of Chad. He was born in Northumbria early in the seventh century and trained in the Celtic tradition under Aidan at Lindisfarne (see June 9). In 664 he succeeded his brother Cedd as abbot of Lastingham and two years later was appointed Bishop of Northumbria with his see at York. In 669 Theodore, the new Archbishop of Canterbury who had arrived from Rome, judged Chad’s consecration by British bishops to be irregular. Chad gladly resigned, “for I never thought myself worthy of it,” and returned to his monastery. Theodore, however, impressed by Chad’s humble character, reordained him and made him Bishop of Mercia and Northumbria with his seat at Lichfield where Chad served until his death from the plague three years later, in 672.

Chad is on the calendar in the Book of Common Prayer but is not on the General Roman Calendar.
Excerpts from New Book of Festivals & Commemorations: A Proposed Common Calendar of Saints by Philip H. Pfatteicher, copyright, 2008 by Fortress Press, an imprint of Augsburg Fortress.

See also: Chad of Mercia


From History of the English Church and People by the Venerable Bede (Book III, chapter 3)

The most reverend bishop Chad always preferred to undertake his preaching missions on foot rather than on horseback; but Theodore (Archbishop of Canterbury) ordered him to ride whenever he undertook a long journey. He was most reluctant to forego this pious exercise which he loved, but the Archbishop, who recognized his outstanding holiness and considered it more proper for him to ride, himself insisted on helping him to mount his horse. So Chad received the Bishopric of the Mercians and the people of Lindsey, and administered his diocese in great holiness of life after the example of the early Fathers….

Chad established his Episcopal seat in the town of Lichfield, where he also died and was buried, and where succeeding bishops of the province have their see to this day. There he built himself a house near the church, where he used to retire privately with seven or eight brethren in order to pray or study whenever his work and preaching permitted. In addition to his many virtues of continence, preaching, prayer and many others, he was filled with the fear of God and mindful of his last end in all he did.
Bede, History of the English Church and People, trans, with an introduction by Leo Sherley-Price, Revised by R. E Latham (Penguin Classics 1955, Revised edition 1968), 207, 208. Copyright © Lee Sherley-Price, 1955, 1968.


Almighty God, for the peace of the Church your servant Chad relinquished cheerfully the honors that had been thrust upon him, only to be rewarded with equal responsibility” Keep us, we pray, from thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, and make us ready at all times to step aside for others, that the cause of Christ may be advanced; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
CMG, LFF, rev. DvD

Readings: Psalm 84:7-12 or Psalm 23; Philippians 4:10-13; Luke 14:1, 7-14
Hymn of the Day:Father all loving, who rules in majesty” (H82 568); “Spirit of God, descend upon my heart” (LBW 486, ELW 800)
Prayers: For the cathedral and diocese of Lichfield; For deliverance from deception by dreams of worldly greatness; For the gift of holiness and true humility; For charity in ail our actions.
Preface: A Saint (2) (BCP), or, if after Ash Wednesday, Lent
Color: White