Old Malton parish:
Old Malton, Vicars transcription:
The biography of St. Gilbert in St. Mary's Church, Old Malton.
St Gilbert of Sempringham
Saint Gilbert died 800 years ago.
He was born at Sempringham in Lincolnshire,
the son of a Norman Knight. He was small and
disabled in some way and unable to follow in
his father's footsteps he was sent to France
to study to be a clerk.
On his return he started a school for boys and girls.
Later he went to Lincoln for nine years and was
ordained Priest by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln.
On his return to Sempringham he became both the
Parson and the Squire (as his father had recently died).
Gilbert started his religious community with seven
girls and later they were joined by some men. He went
to France to ask Bernard of Citeaux if the Cistercians
would take over his community. The General Chapter
refused because of the women so Bernard drafted
a new rule (or Order) for the Gilbertines, thus they
became the only English Order in medieval times.
Gilbert was to devote the rest of his life to this Order
building thirteen monasteries (nine being joint ones
for men and women). Gilbert also founded
orphanages and leper hospitals.
Gilbert died on 4th February circa 1189 and was
buried between the altars of St Mary and St Andrew
in the dividing wall of the monastery at Sempringham.
Twelve years later King John visited Gilbert's tomb
and one year later (after writing to the Pope to ask
for Canonisation) Gilbert became known as
Saint Gilbert of Sempringham.
Today St Mary's Priory, Old Malton is the only
Gilbertine Priory still in daily use for worship.
Proudly our church continues in Gilbert's
tradition of adoration and prayer.
Data transcribed by
from photography by Colin Hinson
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