Blessing ceremony for icon of Derby's patron saint

St Alkmund The icon of St Alkmund will go on permanent display in the cathedral
Derby Cathedral It was blessed in a ceremony at the cathedral, along with another icon from the exhibition which depicts Romanian saints

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A painting of Derby's patron saint has been blessed in a ceremony at the city's cathedral.

The icon of St Alkmund is a gift to the city by Romanian artists Condrea and Camelia Toma.

The work, a painted wooden panel incorporating glass, forms part of an exhibition that will run at the Cathedral Centre, on Iron Gate, until 30 September.

It will then go on permanent display in the cathedral.

'Little recognition'

St Alkmund was born a Northumbrian prince in 774, but moved to Derby following a dispute between rival factions.

He was later murdered in Shropshire, probably by one of his rivals.

Who was St Alkmund?

  • St Alkmund was a Northumbrian religious leader who settled in Derby
  • It is believed he made water run at a well in the city, which bears his name
  • He gained a reputation for being charitable to the poor but was murdered, in 800, probably by the agents of the usurping king Eardwulf
  • A sarcophagus, which is thought to contain his body, is on display at Derby Museum

He became Derby's patron saint in the 1530s and his name was adopted by one of the city's churches.

This was demolished in 1968 and a new one built on Kedleston Road.

Around 50 people attended the blessing for the St Alkmund icon on Tuesday.

The cathedral's visitor officer John Armitage said: "Apart from the fact we have a church dedicated to St Alkmund, there is very little recognition of him in any of Derby's public buildings.

"It is nice to be able to display a part of Derby's history here and also help to show how much of a role Derby played in the development of the country."

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