Good Friday. The church bell has rung at 2.0.clock, the vicar stands outside the church dressed in white with a mask, she is working in the dying world of British Christian faith, maybe 6 people will turn up but probably fewer. In my mind the time of 3.30 hovers this is when Jesus dies on the cross. I remember as a school girl in classroom waiting for this event one Good Friday, and lo and behold the skies darkened - it was a storm of course, but even so! That day I almost believed.....
Which leads me to when Christianity came to these isles. First of all it came in the form of Celtic saints proselytising, Rome slowly accepted this new young faith and it migrated over to Britain, though Ireland was probably the first to feel its touch.
The original church was called The Celtic Church it designated the period before Catholicism took hold in the form of Rome's interference. This was agreed at the Synod of Whitby 664 AD, so it was goodbye to Irish monks and welcome Catholicism, it was Easter dates that finalised the changeover. We had lost Roman over lordship in the year 410, and we entered what was called the 'Dark Ages'. Though this must be taken with a pinch of salt, written records around the following four centuries were just thin on the ground.
It can be traced through letters from the popes to their bishops in this country, on how to tame the pagans!
Timeline; Augustine of Canterbury was a monk who became the first archbishop of Canterbury in 597 AD. After this the conversion (601) of the Anglo-Saxon Kentish King Aethelberht. Pope Gregory (540 to 604) had intended that Augustine become the metropolitan archbishop of the South of England. It was Aethelberht's daughter who took the challenge of Christianity to the North when she married a Northern king.
Correspondence of how Christianity overcame paganism.
Letter from Gregory taken to England by Mellitus;
The felling of 'sacred trees' in Ireland is documented in the old Celtic tales, and I have often wondered if the tree carried on the shoulders of the Celtic soldiers on the Gundestrup cauldron, is a sacred tree won from their enemy.