Diocese of Worcester

Another wave of change in the 7th Century was the coming of Christianity to the pagan English. Mercia, and with it the kingdom of the Hwicce and the territory of Stoppingas, was converted by Celtic missionaries led by the brothers St Cedd and St Chad. As the Word took root in the ruling class the need to organise an effective Church among the ordinary people became paramount. The kings of the Hwicce established a diocese within the boundaries of their kingdom, with its centre at Worcester. A programme of building missionary stations, called minsters, was planned,  all of them sited at the centre of large and important estates. Among the promoters of this strategy were Oshere, king of the Hwicce, and his son, Aethelric, Wootton’s founder. By the dawn of the new century in 800 AD, there were minsters at Ripple, Fladbury, Bredon, Stratford - and Wootton. Wootton, whose parish covered the vast royal estate of Stoppingas, was now really on the map.