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In co-operation with other West Midlands parishes, the Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God houses the St. Wouldn’t we be right, though, in saying that Wilfrid, in the eye of the storm, and Bede, our chief observer, are two pivotal figures in any discussion of early Christian Britain? JOHN: There are so many exceptional figures from the sixth and seventh centuries on these islands that it is difficult to isolate one or two of them.
Theodore of Canterbury Study Centre, running theology courses that lead to University of Wales [Lampeter] qualifications. Without Bede, ‘the first scientific genius of the Germanic people,’ as R. Southern calls him, we would, of course, know very little about any of them.
His Vita, the first Anglo-Saxon ‘biography,’ remains an inspiration to those modern Orthodox Christians who seek to establish and nurture the faith in our multi-ethnic, multi-faith and often hostile world.
But there are so many gigantic figures from these times: Columba, Aidan, Theodore, Finan, Cuthbert….
So, when the Romans came here to Northumbria where Bede later lived, the peoples they found were these British peoples.
Although the Romans obviously structured the local government around their own cities, they also accommodated these tribal areas and some of the British names were kept by the incoming Anglo-Saxons, such as Bernicia and Deira, the two parts of Northumbria. From 63 BC to 410 AD the Roman roads were open and well-traveled, and Britain was solidly a part of the Empire.
We simply don’t have the names of those very early Christians and missionaries; we can’t say that a certain person is the “Apostle to Britain.” Of course, by Orthodox tradition, Aristobulus, one of the seventy disciples of the Lord, is given that title in the Orthodox Menaion, but we don’t have British sources for this, nor does Bede refer to it. The real archaeological and historical evidence for early Christianity begins in the third century, and there are important fourth-century finds.
The archaeological work that has been done in the past fifty years has very much increased our knowledge.
It gives us some idea of his great buildings at York and Ripon, which would have inspired generations of Christians.His foundation work as a missionary in Sussex and Frisia inspired his successors and lives on in their continuing Christianity.The great monasteries he founded in central and northern England were centres of the Christian life for generations.RTE: Before we delve into the world of Venerable Bede and St.
Wilfrid, perhaps we should begin at an earlier point.
There are still many place names referring to Celts in central and western Europe: Gaul itself, Gallia, and the Pays de Galles, the French name for Wales.