the friend online
20 March 2009


Is this where we went wrong? - preview
If the synod of Whitby had gone the other way and Celtic Christians had been triumphant perhaps we wouldn’t be in this mess today

  • This was a sentiment expressed by a speaker at my local history society lecture the other evening

  • This synod, you may recall (or you may not), decided in 664 for the Roman form of Christianity to reign in the realm of Northumbria, although the influence would reach throughout Britain
  • The issues were organisational – such as on which day Easter should be celebrated
  • The two church traditions kept different dates
  • There may also have been another issue about monks’ hair, but the synod outcome was of spiritual significance
  • The king, who had the casting vote, opted for the Roman church as Peter held the keys
  • ‘But if we had embraced the celtic church’, said my speaker, ‘there might have been more reverence for the earth today’

  • Judy Kirby

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    Book club reviews
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    The goddess and the gospel church
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