Chad (d 672) – the recycled bishop

Chad should be the patron saint of any modern bishop whose consecration is questioned by another bishop. Chad was consecrated a bishop, then deposed - and then re-consecrated!

It all began when Oswiu, king of Northumbria, made him bishop of the Northumbrian see. But due to a scarcity of appropriate bishops, two dubious bishops did the job of consecrating him. This led to Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, deciding to depose him about three years later. Chad took his dismissal with good heart, and peacefully retired. 

But then Theodore had second thoughts: Chad was of excellent character: humble, devout, and zealous. So Theodore re-consecrated him – to be the first bishop of the Mercians. Second time around, Chad was a great success - again.

When Chad died he was quickly venerated as a saint. People took a great fancy to his bones, believing that they would bring healing. Even today, four large bones, dating from the 7th century, and believed to be Chad’s, are in the R.C. cathedral in Birmingham.

Bishops today may still argue about consecration, but they are unlikely to have their bones disturbed.

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