Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries Biographies


The Holy Hierarch Saint Brannoc,     Abbot of Braunton, Devonshire 

( 6th century)

A first approach to the indigenous Orthodox Saints and Martyrs of the Ancient Church who lived and who propagated the Faith in the British Isles and Ireland during the first millennium of Christianity and prior to the Great Schism is being attempted in our website  in our desire to inform our readers, who may not be aware of the history, the labours or the martyrdom of this host of Orthodox Saints of the original One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of our Lord.

"The Church in The British Isles will only begin to grow when she begins to venerate her own Saints"     (Saint Arsenios of Paros 1877)


SAINT BRANNOC -  St. Brannock, Abbot of Braunton (also known as Barnoc, Brannoc)

Saint Brynach was a 6th century Welsh saint. He is traditionally associated with Pembrokeshire, where several churches are dedicated to him.

A 12th century 'life' tells us that some time in the early 6th century, Brynach travelled (from where is unstated) to Rome and Brittany, and then on to Milford Haven. He erected various oratories near the rivers Cleddau, Gwaun, and Caman and at the foot of Mynydd Carningli (translated as 'Mountain of the Angels'), which was his most famous foundation. This monastery founded by Brynach was at present-day Nevern (in Welsh, Nanhyfer). The land was given to him by the local lord, Clether, who retired to Cornwall. Brynach was harassed by King Maelgwn of Gwynedd for a while, until he wrought miracles and the two came to terms. Saint Brynach died on 7 April, on which day his feast is celebrated. His church, overhanging the Nevern, is his lasting memorial. Details of Brynach's life seem to identify him with Saint Brannoc of Braunton in Devon, although his feast day there is 21 June.

Saint Brannock appears to have migrated from southern Wales into Devon, and to have founded a monastery at Braunton, near Barnstaple in Devonshire, where William Worcester and Leland say he was buried.

The traditions concerning him are very untrustworthy. Some hagiographers identify him as the 6th-century Welsh missionary Saint Brynach (Bernach or Bernacus).

Troparion of St Brannock of Braunton tone 1

Righteous tutor of the children of Brychan and great wonderworker, O Father Brannock,

thou didst win many souls for Christ by thy tireless endeavours.

As Braunton's church may yet hold thy precious relics,

Pray that we, being ever mindful of our Orthodox heritage,

may never deviate from the true Faith

and, thereby, receive the reward of the blest.



Article published in English on: 2-9-2009.

Last update: 2-9-2009.