Early Churches


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First century Church in the UK

The ancient British Church was planted in these isles by the apostles around AD 37.

The following famous historians state how the Christian gospel reached these lands during the first century.

Eusebius(AD 264-349) the Greek father of Ecclesiastical history, wrote :

"The apostles passed beyond the ocean to the isles called the British Isles.”

Tertullian
(AD 190), the African, wrote, "The extremities of Spain, the various parts of Gaul, the regions of Britain, have received the Christian faith.”

Venerable Bede
wrote: "An early Christian mission came to Britain, dating around AD 37.”

Gildas
, one of our earliest historians, a Celtic priest wrote: "Britain received the gospel in the latter stage of the reign of Emperor Tiberius.” Tiberius reigned from AD 14 to AD 38.

Theodoretus
(AD 435) wrote: "Paul, liberated from his first captivity at Rome, preached the gospel to the Britons, and to others in the West.”

Arnold Mirmannus
, another early church historian wrote: "Paul passed to Britain in the fourth year of Nero (AD 59) and there preached and afterward returned to Italy.”

Sophronius
, Bishop of Jerusalem (AD 600) wrote: "Paul, the Doctor of the Gentiles, passed over the ocean that makes a haven on the other side, even to the land of the Britons, even to Ultima Thrule.”
Bishop Godwinwrote: "The testimonies of Joseph of Arimathea’s coming here are so many, so clear, and so pregnant, that an indifferent man cannot but discern thatthere is something in it.

Cardinal Baronius, in a Vatican manuscript states: "Britain received the gospel in the latter part of the reign of Emperor Tiberius whose reign ended about AD 38.” He also records that Joseph of Arimathea arrived in Britain in AD 35. This remarkable record tallies perfectly with Gildas quoted previously.
Other famous historians such as Sanders, Cressy, and Alfred all claim that Joseph of Arimathea first preach the gospel in Britain.

Cardinal Baroniusalso states that Joseph not only came to Britain to preach the Gospel BUT DIED AND WAS BURIED HERE (Ecclesiastical Annals, AD Annum 35).
Maelgwyn of Llandaff, the uncle of St David wrote in AD 450: "Joseph of Arimathea, the noble decurion, received his everlasting rest with his eleven associates in the Isles of Avalon (present day Glastonbury). He lies in the southern angle of the oratorium of the adorable Virgin.” (Also quoted by Usher.)
Surely, so many faithful witnesses to the planting of the ancient British Church in these islands cannot be ignored. It was almost 600 years later when Augustine reached these shores in the year AD 597 to preach to the Saxons. For nearly 6 centuries the British Celtic Church remained independent of all foreign jurisdiction and was truly apostolic in every way,

*Our National Exhibition (DVD titled "AD 37 Exhibition etc " provides further details of our ancient Christian heritage.

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The Christian Faith arrives in Britain

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