It cannot be established that either of the brothers, Wulfhade and
Rufine, existed or that King Wulfhere lapsed from Christianity,
but a great upsurge of Christianity in Mercia (Cheshire) can be
detected during St. Chad's ministry. Heathen places were pulled
down and monasteries were built with the King giving Chad fifty
hides of land to build a monastery in Lincolnshire.
Sadly St. Chad died of the plague (like his brothers Cynebil and
Cedd before him) on March 2nd 672 AD, after only two and a half
years Mercian ministry during which time he had 'church planted'
and converted virtually all of South Lancashire and Cheshire. At
least thirty three ancient churches are dedicated to him and he
could well be described as THE Celtic Saint of the Mersey. It was
said that he knew the time of his death and Bede recorded that:
".... the soul of his brother Cedd descended from heaven accompanied
by angels, and carried away his soul to the heavenly kingdom".
Tradition says that King Canute's second wife gave one of Chad's
teeth to Winchester but the rest of his bones vanished during the
reformation, possibly being buried behind the High Altar at Lichfield.
Ironically four pieces of bone are now displayed in the Roman Catholic
Cathedral in Birmingham attributed to St. Chad and recent research
has established that they are of seventh century date (600 AD to
700 AD) but could make up three legs !