Company of St Boniface
The Company of St Boniface has been introduced by Bishop Robert of Exeter in 2019 to honour people who have made a substantial contribution to the life of the church in Devon. It also seeks to recognise people who have built up our overseas links in our witness to Christ.
Up to six Companions of St Boniface will be admitted each year and a service of investiture will be held in Exeter Cathedral or at another location around the diocese as close to the feast day of St Boniface on 5 June as possible.
People can be nominated for:
- making a difference to the community or in their field of ministry;
- enhancing the church’s reputation;
- long-term voluntary service;
- innovation and entrepreneurship;
- changing things with an emphasis on achievement;
- improving lives for people less able to help themselves;
- displaying moral courage and vision in making and delivering difficult choices.
The deadline for nominations for this year is 6 September 2019.
Bishop Robert will assess nominations and make awards with the help of an advisory panel. A nomination form can be downloaded here: Nomination form Company of St Boniface.
The Companion of St Boniface medallion has been designed by the Revd Andrew Johnson, Assistant Curate of Heavitree and Saint Mary Steps, who is also a professional stained glass artist.
See website: www.andrewjohnsonstainedglass.com
St Boniface was born in Crediton in Devon in around 675 and is credited with bringing Christianity to Germany. For this, some historians call him the “First European” and he is still revered in Germany to this day.
He was given the Anglo-Saxon name Wynfrith, meaning “friend of peace” as a child, taking the name Boniface, meaning “good deeds” when he entered the monastery in Exeter.
The gifted scholar and poet was ordained as a priest and became a missionary to Frisia in northern Europe before being consecrated as a bishop in 722.
Ten years later, he was made Archbishop of Mainz and appointed various missionary bishops to encourage the evangelisation of central Europe.
Boniface was killed by a mob in Frisia in 754 and his remains returned to Fulda, where he had built an abbey. He later became the patron saint of Germania and is known as the ‘Apostle of the Germans’.
Saint Boniface’s feast day is celebrated on 5 June and a statue stands in the grounds of Mainz Cathedral. The UK National Shrine to St Boniface is at the Catholic church in Crediton. There is also an aisle dedicated to him at Crediton Parish Church.
There is currently a campaign for St Boniface to be designated Patron Saint of Devon organised by the Boniface Link Association and supported by the Diocese of Exeter and Roman Catholic Diocese of Plymouth.
‘As God gives us strength, in season and out of season, let us preach to the powerful and powerless alike, to rich and poor alike, to all people of every rank and of whatever age, the saving purposes of God’
Boniface of Crediton