Ad Geifrin

The monument at Yeavering

Converting the king was one thing and no doubt Paulinus was very pleased at having done so, but that still left his kingdom - and with a visit to a royal site of pagan worship coming up, the man from Italy must have wondered what the outcome would be.

He need not have worried. The Christian message took the locals by storm and instead of a lazy week-end away in the country, Paulinus spent the next five weeks preaching and baptising, almost without a break. Of course, every clergyman rejoices in an attentive congregation and a baptism is an exhilerating occasion - but after 36 days non-stop, Paulinus would have been more than human if he had not breathed a sigh of relief when there were no more eager heathen queueing up to be baptised!