Sunday, 5 July 2015

Celtic Christian Spirituality: How Different Was it to "Roman" Christian Spirituality?

Another essay from my Laidlaw days, this one looking at the differences between Celtic Christian Spirituality and "Roman" Christian Spirituality, with particular  reference to the Synod of Whitby. This was for the Historical and contemporary models of Spirituality paper.
 I think that this will probably be the last one I upload here (unless I can work out how to get at the hard drive on my old computer.) There a few other with are okay, but not really that interesting. 

Question: Assess the view that Celtic Christian spirituality was significantly different from Roman Christian spirituality, and that the Synod of Whitby marks the triumph of the latter over the former.

Many different people groups have accepted the gospel in the churches’ 2000 year history. Recently, the spirituality practiced by one of these people groups, the Celts, has grown in popularity. This growing popularity makes it important to ask questions about Celtic spirituality. We must ask questions about the historical context in which it grew up and how much the forms of this spirituality practised today reflect the forms which were practiced in its home contexts. Asking these questions leads us to see that there is one event which historians see as a turning point which led to the decline of Celtic spirituality. The Synod of Whitby is seen as a meeting between “Roman”[1] and Celtic expressions of Christianity, in which a “Roman” triumph led to the decline of Celtic Christianity. Yet was this the case? How much of a turning point was the Synod of Whitby really? And were Celtic expressions of Christianity really that different to “Roman” expressions? These are the questions which this essay will attempt to answer. It will explore the historical background of the Celtic people and some of the key leaders of its faith. It will then turn to look at the characteristics of Celtic spirituality, and how they differ to “Roman” forms. It will then look at the synod itself and explore some of the historical factors which lead to the decline of Celtic spirituality. It will show that Celtic spirituality is more diverse than it is understood to be, and that the historical factors are more complicated than is popularly understood.

Historical Background
  The Celts were a diverse people and language group who lived in large parts of Europe in pre-Roman times.[2] However, by the time of Christianity, much of their land and culture had been lost to the Romans and they had been pushed back to “the ends of the earth.[3] Their remaining areas included Ireland, Wales and Scotland. These British Celtics were composed of two major groups. The Brythonic Celts lived in what is today England, Wales and southern Scotland.[4] However, this area was invaded by Rome, and thus much of their culture was lost.  The Goidelic Celts lived in what are now Ireland, Scotland and Wales.[5] These areas was not invaded by Rome, and thus were some of the last strongholds of the Celtic people, although it still had a lot of interaction with the outside world, as the archaeology suggests.[6] It is thus Christianity in these areas, from around 400 to 1170 AD, which is commonly thought of as Celtic Christianity. However, this still represents diverse people groups who had very different types of spirituality. For example, Ireland at this time was not one political unit, but many different kingdoms, which were based on a tribal or clan system.[7] This essay will focus on the spirituality of the Irish, as well as the area which Irish missionaries influenced.

Saints and Leaders

  We turn now to some of the important people associated with Celtic Christianity. While there were Celtic Christians before him, and despite not being a Celt, St Patrick is seen as one of the earliest heroes and pioneers of the Celtic church.[8] Patrick was a native of Britain who had been captured by pirates and enslaved in Ireland. However, he came to know God, and later escaped after God spoke to him in a dream. Yet God called him back to Ireland as a missionary,[9]  and he returned in 432.[10] He spent the rest of his life in Ireland and successfully converted many people. Patrick left behind two written works: his Confession and letter to Corotitcus. There is also Patrick’s breastplate, or lorica, which is attributed to him, but which he is unlikely to have written.[11] Furthermore, there are many lives of Patrick, most of which come from the seventh century.[12] These are where most of the stories and legends surrounding Patrick come from. While Patrick is highly regarded today, he in fact represents a larger movement of early mission to Ireland. Indeed, there’s a theory that two “Patricks” existed, whose identities have been merged into one.[13] Bede speaks of “Palladius” being the first bishop of Ireland, rather than Patrick, making a possible candidate.[14] Nevertheless, the missionary movement which Patrick is a part of led to the conversion of most of Ireland, making it a stronghold of Christianity. 

 There were also many other important Celtic leaders. This includes St Brigid, whose life is surrounded by myths and legends.[15] She is said to have been generous, to have written a poem known as the Heavenly banquet[16] and even to be ordained a bishop.[17] Other leaders include St Ninian, St Oswald and St Cuthbert.[18] Yet arguably the most influential Celtic leader is St Columba. Columba was an Irish monk and missionary who founded the monastic community on the Island of Iona in Scotland. From here he and his followers (both during and after his life) founded further monasteries around Britain and Ireland, including Lindisfarne, founded by St Aidan.[19] Much of what we know about him comes for Adamnan’s Life of Columba.[20] It’s said that two activities took up much of Columba’s time: establishing churches and monasteries, and establishing relationships with Kings.[21] He was, after all, descended from royalty.[22] Spiritually, Bede describes his followers as having a “purity of life…love of God and… loyalty to the monastic rule.”[23] He also moved in the supernatural, with many prophecies attributed to him,[24] as well as many miracles, including turning water into wine.[25] His followers took their brand of Christianity all over Scotland and Northern England, and became a movement in its own right.[26]

Celtic Christian Spirituality 

   We turn now to the spirituality of the Celtic churches. Many attempts have been made to summarise Celtic spirituality. Meek, for example, lists five features of Celtic spirituality: a strong devotion to Christ, an emphasis on holy living, the study of scripture, the practice of using the power of God, and the expansion of the Kingdom of God.[27] Yet as we have seen, the Celts were a diverse group of people. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that there are diverse ideas about their spirituality. The examples below are by no means a comprehensive or exclusive list of the aspects of Celtic spirituality.[28] Rather, it is intended to show some of the ways which it contrasted with “Roman” styles of spirituality.

Firstly, monasticism was an important feature of Celtic Christianity, both organisationally and spirituality.[29] Indeed, it had a monastic system of church administration; in contrast to the diocesan model of the “Roman” Christians.[30] The monks held a role similar to that which druids previously held, being keepers of knowledge and judges, as well as spiritual leaders.[31] They were even literal prayer warriors, praying at battles.[32] They were influenced by the Desert Fathers and St Martin. However, the Irish monks, unlike their eastern counterparts, had no desert which they could retreat to. Thus many of them became seafarers, and explored the seas north of Ireland, which became their desert. This spirit of seafaring is captured in a poem which is said to be composed by Columba himself.[33] Celtic monasteries were generally not one single building, but rather a collection of smaller buildings.[34] Despite this, while some Celtic monks were hermits, they generally had a strong understanding of community. In many cases, men and women lived in the same monasteries, unlike their more Romanised counterparts, and it’s possible that some were even married.[35] Furthermore, the idea of spiritual friendship, or anamchara,[36] was very strong.[37] It was based on the understanding that everyone needed someone to pray, seek advice and discern the movements of the heart with.[38]

    Secondly, as already hinted at, the Celts were a very mobile people. Mission was therefore an important element of Celtic Christianity. Indeed, at one point it looked as if they would re-evangelise much of Europe.[39] This was a tradition which went back to Patrick who used the Bible to justify his mission.[40] The Celtic understanding of mission was one which relied fully on God.[41] Monks played an important missionary role, as they were the ones who were largely behind the spread of Christianity in this context.[42] Thus mission part part of a more holistic understanding of spirituality, which sees action, community and contemplation going together more than some of their eastern counterparts would have understood them to go together. Pilgrimage, or peregrinatio, was another important aspect of Celtic spirituality.[43] The Celtic understanding of pilgrimage was that it was a one way trip or journey with God, which would be costly.[44] They would often set of from Ireland and leave everything behind, and totally trust in God.[45] As already mentioned, the Irish Celts were great seafarers, and managed to colonise many areas in the North Atlantic Ocean this way. This is contrasted by the monastic movements in the east, where, after Benedict’s condemnation of mobile monks, monks tended to live in one place for most of their lives.[46]

 Thirdly, The Bible was a central part of Celtic faith. The Irish were strong when it came to biblical studies, as opposed to the “Romans,” who were more philosophically minded.[47] It was not simply a source for doctrine, but also for spirituality. The Bible was used as a guide for prayers, as some of the writings of Patrick show us.[48] The Gospel of John held special importance to the Celtic church, which has a different flavour to the synoptic gospels.[49] There is much evidence to support this: the Celtics appeal to John at the synod of Whitby, Basil asking Cuthbert to read him John on his deathbed, Bede translating it in his final days, a copy of the gospel of John in the coffin of St Cuthbert and finally, it’s important from the Celtic theologian and philosopher John Scotus Eriugena.[50] Celtic culture resonated with many parts of John, such as the wedding at Cana, as it was a family orientated culture.[51] Some of Johns’ disciples went to Gaul, and it’s likely that these disciples are connected with the Celtics, as many of them fled Gaul during times of persecution.[52] In contrast, the theology of Paul and synoptic gospels was more prominent in “Roman” version of Christianity. The Celts viewed The Bible as something to be lived. This is shown in their writings, as they often showed their own hero’s imitating biblical figures. St Patrick, for example, is portrayed as a new Moses in the life which Muirchu wrote,[53]  where God spoke to St Patrick in a burning bush, mirroring Moses. Even in his own writings, Patrick portrays himself much like King David, developing his faith as a Shepherd looking after sheep.[54] We thus learn that they knew scripture well, and wanted to imitate it in their lives, and to see it imitated in the lives of their own heroes.[55] Furthermore, Muirchu links Patrick to Paul, in order to strengthen a link to Peter in the debate around when to calibrate Easter.[56] 

The Synod of Whitby and its interpretation

 We turn now to the question of what caused the decline of Celtic spirituality, and what role the Synod of Whitby played in this. The synod was held in 664, in what was later called Whitby, but was known as Streanaeshalch at the time.[57] We know about it from two sources: Bede’s History of the English Church and Eddius Stephanus’ life of St Wilfird.[58] The debate at the synod centred around the question of the date of Easter, although this was not the only question.[59] The Celtics observed Easter based on the day of the mouth, and appealed to the Gospel of John and the traditions of St Columba for support.[60] The Roman position was that it should be observed on the day after the Jewish Sabbath closest to when it happened. As this was the custom in all other churches, including in Rome, they claimed this on the authority of Peter and the church as a whole.[61] The Celtic position was articulated by the Bishop of Lindisfarne, Colman, and Wilfild spoke for the “Roman” position.[62] King Oswiu acted as the mediator and sided with the “Roman” position as Peter was “greater in the Kingdom of Heaven” than Columba.[63] This decision is traditionally seen at the major turning point against Celtic Christianity.

   However, history is more complex than that. Firstly, we must remember that whatever historians study, they always look at the written records. Because so little survives, there is not a lot to work with. Therefore, many try to explain a great change (the decline of Celtic Christianity) thought the one event which they know took place (the synod of Whitby). However, this does not necessarily give a complete picture of what happened. Secondly, modern people tend to put unhelpful and inadequate labels on people, movements and event in history. Bradley and Tristram both argue that the idea that there was a “Celtic” and a “Roman” Church is misleading, as they were not separate and distinct ecclesiological units or people groups, as we would understand them to be.[64] Bradley points out that there was diversity amongst the Celtic tribes, who would not have thought of themselves as the distinctive people group they are often considered to be today. He goes on to argue that while the theology of the Celtics was largely orthodox, there were many differences in the way that the faith was practiced, including their spirituality.[65] He also points out that this was also the case across the Christian world: that all the different churches all had distinct characteristics.[66] Thus what Columba founded was a family or paruchia of churches, which all had a certain distinctive, and which Bradley labels “the Columban Church.”[67] It also seems that there were monks in Iona from all over the British Isles, who were also influences from “Roman”, and possibly near eastern culture and expressions of Christianity.[68] Thus there ways in fact influences both ways.

 Thirdly, while Celtic versus “Roman” church tensions is often seen as the only factor at play, it must be understood that there is a wider context, and that there are other factors in both the church and world at this time. At this time, both the Pope and church in Rome were growing in both power and influence.[69] While the church had many different expressions in different places, these were being challenged by Rome. Thus the wider Church was going through a time when the diversity of practice was being superseded by the unity which Rome promoted. It was therefore ultimately an argument based on power that Wilfrid used at Whitby.[70] Thus the synod must be seen as part of a larger movement within the wider Church in which the powerful “Roman” church, at the centre of the emerging Christendom, was not going to tolerate distension from the margins, which the Celtics represented. Furthermore, there were other challenges facing Celtic people, other than just pressure to conform to Rome. One of these is the emergence of raids of from the Vikings. Iona, for example, was attacked by Vikings in 795 and 806.[71] Many Vikings also settled in Scotland, putting pressure on Celtic lands. These attacks were similar to what had happened in England when the Anglo-Saxons arrived and invaded. Later, Normans arrived in England in 1066, which also held influence over the Celts. Thus, migration and political pressure, as well as theological issues are all contributing factor to the decline of Celtic expressions of Christian Faith.

  There are other historical narratives which have been used to explain what happened to the Celtic Christianity and at the synod. One narrative which many scholars mention is promoted by many Protestants. According to this understating, the synod represents an already corrupt Catholic Church snuffing out a truer expression of church.[72] Thus the Celtic Church is understood to be pre-reformation “Protestants.” However, this is not a helpful understating. It reads post-reformation ideas back onto a church which existed in a very different context. Another narrative is that the Celtic people, who once covered much of Europe, had already been pushed back to just the western corners of Europe: Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Celtics can be seen as a dying culture, whose fate was sealed hundreds of years before Columba set out for Scotland. Thus, Celtic Christianity can be seen as a glorious sunset of a dying culture. Finally, as already stated, the Celtic Church has a special place for John in its theology.[73] Thus the Synod can be seen as a struggle between the competing theologies of Peter and John, where the Roman church represents the theology of Peter and the Celtic church as the theology of John, which clash at Whitby. Again, this was a straggle which went beyond a single Celtic versus Roman battle, but is part of a larger picture.


   It is therefore difficult to say anything definite about the difference between Celtic and “Roman” Spirituality. Celtic spirituality has many characteristics including an emphasis on prayer, nature, the trinity, monasticism, mission, pilgrimage and scripture, with a particular emphasis on John. Yet, it cannot be seen as one unit, but rather as a diverse range of groups. They were a people at the “Ends of the Earth,” who tried to expand their own brands of Christianity to the east. However, while at times they had some success, as a people on the margin, they ultimately came up against forces which were beyond their control. The synod of Whitby is not the defining turning point against Celtic Christianity, but rather is just one example of forces which the Celtic people came up against. Forces of politics and migration, of theology and history were all at play to conspire against Celtic expressions of Christian Spirituality. These many forces favoured the “One Faith, One Practice.” power driven approach of the “Roman” Christians over the Celtic attempt to stand on their own unique traditions. In a world which had no understating of culture diversity and indigenous expressions of faith like we have today, the Celts had little theological weight to stand on. The synod of Whitby was not the major turning point, but rather, just another nail in Celtic Christianity’s coffin.


  What does this mean for us today? Firstly, it is a reminder that the church has had a diverse range of expressions of faith throughout its history. Within Celtic Christianity, its practices of spirituality are diverse. Their expressions also differed from that practised by “Roman” Christianity, which, itself was not just one expression but many. Each culture has its own expression of spirituality. In an increasing pluralistic world, it is important that we remember this. It is easy for us to, like the Romans, to think that one body has one way of doing things, and that our way is that way. However, while unity is important, diversity must also be affirmed, practically diversify from the margins. Secondly, the place which the book of John held in the Celtics is a reminder that it is easy for us to focus on some parts of scripture and not others. While the Celtics were very holistic in other ways, in this are, they were less so. It is important that we keep hold of the whole of scripture. In our context, it is the letters of Paul which are most likely to be elevated. Thirdly, the Celts remind us of the important of holding mission and spirituality together. This was something which the Celts did better than the Roman Christians of their time. This also has application to my current context in the Intentional Community at Laidlaw[74]. As a community, the idea of spiritual friendship, which was part of the Celtic tradition, will be one which we can learn from. Also, we would do well to learn for the Celts who kept community, spirituality and mission much closer together than their Romanised counterparts.


Adam, David. Walking The Edges: Living in the Presence of God. Falmouth, Cornwell: SPCK, 2003.
Adamnan, Saint. The Life of Saint Columba. Translated by Wentworth Huyshe. London, 1922.
Bede. Bede: Ecclrsiarical History of the English People. Translated by leo Sherly-Price. London: Penguin Books, 1990.
Benedict, St. The Rule of St. Benedict. Translated by Cardinal Gasquest. New York: Dover Publishing, 2007.
Bowie, Fiona and Davies, Oliver. Celtic Christian Spirituality: An Anthology of Medieval and Modern Sources. London: SPCK, 1995.
Bradley, Ian. Columba: Pilgrim and Penitent. Melksham, Wilts: The Cromwell Press Lmd., 1996.
Bridges, Linda McKinnish. "The fourth gospel and Celtic Christianity." Perspectives in Religious Studies 35 no 1 Spr 2008, p 45-67., 2008, acssed electronaiocally at ebsco database 11th May 2011,
Chadwick, Nora. The Age of the Saints in the Early Celtic Chruch. London: Oxford University Press, 1961.
Chruchhill, Leigh. The Birth of Eurpoe: The History of the Christian Chruch, from John Chrysoston to the Conversion of Russia. Glasglow: Ommina Books, 2001.
Culling, Elizabeth. What Is Celtic Chrsitianity? . Nottingham: Grove Books Limited, 1993.
De Waal, Esther. The Celtic Way of Prayer: The Recovery of the religious Imagination. St Ives: Clays Ltd., 1996.
Friesen, Milton J. "Monasticism in 5th-7th c Ireland: a study of the establishment of Christianity in Irish-Celtic culture." Religious Studies and Theology 23 no 2 2004., 2004: 79-98, acssed electronaiocally at ebsco database 11th May 2011 at
Fordham Univiersy, “sourcebook Internet Medievil”.2007, acssed eletronaocal 12th May 2010 at
Harman, A.M and Renwick, A.M. The Story of the Chruch, Third Edition. Leicester: IVP, 1999.
Hikdebrandt, Ruth. "The Myth of Iona." History Today; Jul80, Vol. 30 Issue 7, p58, 1980: 58-59. acssed electronaiocally at ebsco database 11th May 2011.

Hill, Jonathan. The New Lion Handbook of The History of Christianity. Oxford: Lion Books, 2007.
Holder, Aurther. "Whitby And All That: The Search for Anglican Origins." Anglican Theological Review 85 no 2 Sep 2003, p 231-252 acssed electronaiocally at ebsco database 11th May 2011 at
Holt, Bradley. Thirsty for God: A Brief History of Chrsitian Spiriuality. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005.
Lehane, Brendan. Early Celtic Chrisitnaity. London: St Edmundsbury Press, 1996.
Meek, Donlad. The Quest for Celtic Christianity. Edinburgh: The Handsel Press Ltd, 2000.
O'Leary, Aideen. "An Irish Apocryphal Apostle: Muirchú's Portrayal of Saint Patrick." Harvard Theological Review 89 no 3 Jl 1996, p 287-301., 1996: np, acssed electronaiocally at ebsco database 11th May 2011 at
Patrick, St. The Confession of Saint Patrick. Translated by John Skinner. New York: Image Books, 1998.
Sellner, Edward C. Mentoring: The Ministry of Spiritual Kinship. Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Naria Press, 1990.
Simpson, Ray. Expolring Celtic Spirituality: Historic Roots for Our Future. London: Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, 1995.
St. Brigid?, Translated by Sean O'Faolain. Univierity of Oregon. n.d. (accessed May 24, 2011).
Stephanus, Eddius. "Life of Wilfird." In The Age of Bede, by J Webb and D. Farmer. St Ives: Penguin Books, 2004.
Tristram, Kate, interview by David Crawley. Lindisfarne Conversation (? ?, 2010).
—. The Story of the Holy Island: An Illustrated history. Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2009.

[1] “Roman,” Christianity is itself a misleading term, as while the church at this time was lead from Rome; it had influences from many areas around the Mediterranean basin.  It was not yet “Roman Catholicism”, as it predated the Great Schism and Reformation.  Here, it will be used to denote the Non-Celtic Church at large at the time. It will be used interchangeably with other terms such as Eastern (again, not ideal, as this was technically what we consider to be “western” Christianity, but will be used as it was “Eastern” from the Celtic perceptive.)
[2]   Kate Tristram, Lindisfarne Conversation, Interview with David Crawley, 2010.
[3]   Patrick speaks of the conversion of Ireland as a fulfilment of God’s promise to bring salvation to “the end of the earth” (e.g. Jeremiah 16:19) in much the same way as has been applied to New Zealand. See St Patrick, The Confession of Saint Patrick. Trans. John Skinner( New York: Image Book,1998) 57-58
[4] Oliver Bowie and  Fiona Davies, Celtic Christian Spirituality: An Anthology of Medieval and Modern Sources  (London: SPCK, 1995) 8.
[5] Ibid.
[6] (Lehane 1996)  Brendan Lehane, Early Celtic Christianity (London: Constable, 1995) 10
[7] Jonathan Hill, The New Lion Handbook of The History of Christianity (Oxford: Lion Books, 2007).167
[8] Elizabeth Culling, What Is Celtic Chrsitianity?  (Nottingham: Grove Books Limited, 1993) 8.
[9]  St Patrick, 49.
[10] Culling,3. This is after St Ninian’s mission in Scotland in 397. However, we know very little about St Ninian.
[11] (Patrick 1998) 77-79. While it’s probably not written by Patrick, and could be dated as late as 700, it nevertheless gives a glimpse into Celtic Christianity.

[12] Aideen O'Leary, "An Irish Apocryphal Apostle: Muirchú's Portrayal of Saint Patrick." Harvard Theological Review 89 no 3 Jl 1996, p 287-301., 1996: np.89-90
[13]  Donlad Meek, The Quest for Celtic Christianity  Edinburgh: The Handsel Press Ltd, 200)131-132
[14] Bede, Bede: Ecclesiastcal History of the English People. Trans. by leo Sherly-Price, (London: Penguin Books, 1990) 60
[15]  Meek, 208
[16]  St. Brigid?, The Heavenly Banquet, Translated by Sean O'Faolain. Univierity of Oregon. n.d. (accessed May 24, 2011).
[17]  Bradley Holt. Thirsty for God: A Brief History of Chrsitian Spiriuality (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005) 66- 67 It has also been suggested that she is simple the Christianised version of the pagan goddess who shares her name. See Meek, 152.
[18]  For more on the lives of these and other Celtic saints, see Adam David, Walking The Edges: Living in the Presence of God. (Falmouth, Cornwell: SPCK, 2003), Nora Chadwick, The Age of the Saints in the Early Celtic Chruch. (London: Oxford University Press, 1961)
[19] Bede, 148-149, (Tristram, The Story of the Holy Island: An Illustrated hisroty 2009) Kate Tristram, The Story of the Holy Island: An Illustrated hisroty. (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2009) 16-17.
[20]  Adamnan, Saint. The Life of Saint Columba. Translated by Wentworth Huyshe. London, 1922.
[21]  Ian Bradley, Columba: Pilgrim and Penitent  (Melksham, Wilts: The Cromwell press Lmd., 1996). 28
[22] Ruth  Hikdebrandt, "The Myth of Iona." History Today; Jul80, Vol. 30 Issue 7, p58, 1980: 59
[23] Bede, 147
[24]  St Adamnan, 20-93
[25] Ibid, 99-100
[26] Bradley, 68
[27] Meek, 173-175
[28]It’s commonly known that prayer, nature and the trinity are central aspects of Celtic Christianity. Instead of recovering this well-trodden ground, I will rather focus on some of the less well known factors of Celtic spirituality. For more on these aspects of Celtic spirituality, see Culling, Esther De Waal,  The Celtic Way of Prayer: The Recovery of the religious Imagination. (St Ives: Clays Ltd., 1996), Ray Simpson, Expolring Celtic Spirituality: Historic Roots for Our Future, (London: Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, 1995).?
[29]  Bradley, 67-68
[30]  Bede, 22
[31] (Friesen 2004) Milton J. Friesen, "Monasticism in 5th-7th c Ireland: a study of the establishment of Christianity in Irish-Celtic culture." Religious Studies and Theology 23 no 2 2004., 2004: 79-98. 13
[32]  Hill, 164
[33] Fordham University,  Internet University Source Book accessed electronically 12th  May 2010 at
[34]  Meek, 148
[35] Edward Sellner, Mentoring: The Ministry of Spiritual Kinship. (Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Naria Press, 1990) 61
[36] ibid
[37] Holt, 67
[38] Sellner74
[39] Harman, A.M and Renwick, A.M, The Story of the Chruch, Third Edition (Leicester: IVP, 1999) 58. Many areas become “un-Christianised”  after the fall of the Roman Empire.
[40]  St Patrick, 58-60
[41]  Ibid, 73
[42] Hill, 164
[43] De Waal,8
[44] ibid, 7
[45] Simpson, 45
[46] St Benedict, The Rule of St. Benedict. Trans. by Cardinal Gasquest. (New York: Dover Publishing, 2007), 4
[47] Tristram, Lindisfarne Conversation
[48] St Patrick, 53-54
[49]  Linda McKinnish Bridges, "The fourth gospel and Celtic Christianity." Perspectives in Religious Studies 35 no 1 Spr 2008, p 45-67., 2008, 9, Simpson, 27
[50] Bridges, 14-20
[51] Simpson, 28
[52] Ibid, 30
[53] Aideen O'Leary, "An Irish Apocryphal Apostle: Muirchú's Portrayal of Saint Patrick." Harvard Theological Review 89 no 3 Jl 1996, p 287-301., 1996, 2
[54]  St Patrick, 38
[55] It should also be noted that Muirchu also alluded to psuedo-acts documents also. See O’Leary.
[56] O’Leary, 10
[57] Author Holder, "Whitby And All That: The Search for Anglican Origins." Anglican Theological Review 85 no 2 Sep 2003, p 231-252.234.
[58] Holder, 234
[59] ibid. There was also a question about monk’s haircuts.
[60] Bede, 188,  Eddius Stephanus, "Life of Wilfird." In The Age of Bede, by J Webb and D. Farmer (St Ives: Penguin Books, 2004), 117
[61] Bede, 188-190, Stephanus, 117-118.
[62] Holder,  235. Christianity had been reintroduced to modern-day England by missionaries for the continent, originally lead by St Augustine (not to be confused by Augustine of Hippo) and based at Canterbury.
[63] Stephanus, 117. It should also be noted that Oswiu followed the opposite tradition to his wife, which lead to chaos in the court during lent and Easter.
[64]  Bradley, 65, Tristram, The Story of the Holy Island: An Illustrated history, 81
[65]  Bradley, 66
[66]  Ibid.
[67]  Ibid, 67
[68]  Ibid, 71
[69] Harman, 63, 68-69, Hill, 167-172.
[70] Bridges, 7
[71] Meek, 196
[72]  Holder, 238
[73] Bridges, 10-11
[74] I think that some application to our personal situation at the time must have been part of the assignment.

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