Bishop Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (634-687) came from the Northumbrian
middle classes. Although he spent long periods as a hermit,
he was a very popular man and noted healer of plague-victims.
In 685 King Ecgfrith persuaded Cuthbert to become Bishop
of Lindisfarne, an estate which had grown rich under his royal patronage. When Cuthbert died two years later
the monastic community started a cult in his name.
We know from the cults of St Wilfred, St Columba and St
Brigid that a major cult would have required a beautiful
Gospel Book. The Lindisfarne Gospels was probably begun as
the major icon for the cult of Cuthbert.
By Aldred's day, the community had relocated to Chester-le-Street
and Durham. His final inscription or 'colophon' added in
the mid tenth century says the work was undertaken 'for God and