In 2023 Worcester commemorates the 1000th anniversary of the death of Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester (1002-16), Archbishop of York (1002-23), and revered uncle of St Wulfstan (1062-95).
Archbishop Wulfstan and his Anglo-Saxon World, Conference at Worcester
24.03.2023 – 25.03.2025
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For two unique days of learning, Archbishop Wulfstan and the Anglo-Saxon world in which he lived is on the agenda in Worcester. Archbishop Wulfstan was one of the most powerful bishops in the history of Worcester Cathedral. He was a major player in the turbulent politics of the reign of King Æthelred the Unready and King Cnut.
Wulfstan left his mark on Worcester Cathedral’s library, lands and diocese. He influenced the kings policy in combatting the Viking attacks which eventually overwhelmed the kingdom. Under the conquering king, Cnut, Wulfstan continued to guide national policy. He composed lawcodes for both kings and was a legislative innovator, protecting English rights. The road to Magna Carta starts with Wulfstan.
As a bishop, he was a reformer and preacher. His sermons in Old English are some of the most original writings in the development of English prose. Writing around the year 1000 Wulfstan’s preaching is notable for its hellfire warnings of the imminence of the End of the World. His staunch defence of the diocese against Viking invaders, greedy aristocrats and grasping kings ensured Worcester’s safety and stability during one of the most dramatic periods in English history.
Eight internationally-known scholars will speak about Wulfstan’s life, writings, political influence, and the crucial role he played in the early history of Worcester. The lectures will be held in the historic setting of the Old Palace, once the residence of the Bishops of Worcester. One of the oldest buildings in the city, it has hosted royalty through the ages.
Tickets for the conference cost £160 per person for the two days, including eight lectures, tea, coffee and a light lunch each day, a tour of the Cathedral and/or a tour of the Mediaeval Library with its manuscript treasures, a short dramatic recitation of highlights of Wulfstan’s preaching and an evening reception with drinks and canapes. The conference dinner can also be booked at an additional cost of £35 per person.
Click here to see the leaflet that includes the speakers and the programme for the two days.