Saturday May 12th 2018 at 7.30 - 9.00 pm
St. Thomas à Becket Church
Since the twelfth century, the Church of St. Thomas à Becket has stood in a remote field in the tiny village of Huntington, high up in the hills above Kington. For nine long centuries, it has witnessed generation after generation of people come and go through its ancient door. The church must have witnessed everything, from the time it was filled with corn for the tithe, to countless weddings, baptisms and burials. Yet, it is only one of about nine churches left in the country to be named after the illustrious Archbishop Thomas Becket, who rose from middle-class stock to become the friend and later enemy of one of the most powerful kings in Britain – Henry II.
So why was this remote outpost church named after the archbishop? Rumour has it that it was built by Richard le Breton, one of the knights who slaughtered Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. It is said that Breton had local connections, so he built the church in penance for what he and other knights did to Becket. Was this true?
William Moyle from Huntington, has just written a book on the subject and tonight he will launch it by telling the whole story of the life of the church’s patron saint, Thomas Becket. It is a story of ambition, power, excitement, disasters, corruption, betrayals, exile, battles with his king, Henry II and his beautiful wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. The stories make a riveting thriller of medieval times. The final legendary night on December 29th 1170, when as Archbishop of Canterbury, Becket bravely walks into Canterbury Cathedral, only to be slain by the four knights of Henry II, will be told in great detail.
The surprising aftermath will also be explained and above all, the reason why the little church in Huntington should bear his name, will be revealed. This is an evening which should not be missed.
There will be a party after the talk with free drinks and canapés.