Who Is St. Hilda?

Hilda was the Abbess of Streoneshalh, a monastery in northeastern England. Streoneshalh, later known as Whitby, was a double monastery where men and women lived separately but worshipped together.

In 664 Hilda hosted the Synod of Whitby at which the English bishops decided to follow the Roman form of the Christian faith rather than the Celtic form that was also being practiced.

In the wake of this decision, some chose to leave the English church and return to Ireland and Scotland to practice the Christian faith as they saw fit; others believed they were called to stay in communion with their brothers and sisters in England, and adopted Roman practices.

Following this difficult time, reconciling leaders like Hilda (who would, herself, have preferred to retain the Celtic form) shepherded monasteries, parishes and dioceses toward fruitful ministry in Christ’s name, and to his glory.