People

The Celtic Church & Monastries

How did the Celtic Church spread?

When they invaded, the Romans brought their own brand of Christianity to Britain. But this was not the only form of the Christian faith that was found in the region. The Celtic Church grew up in the Celtic-speaking areas of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and the Isle of Man where the Romans did not have such a tight control. This church was lively and passionate and did not have the rigid structure of Roman Christianity. The Celtic Church developed local rules to suit local conditions, and interpreted the Scriptures as it thought best.

Celtic missionary monks did not stay all the time in monasteries – they travelled far and wide to spread the Christian faith. Their monasteries were bases for evangelism and learning and in some, communities of nuns worked and lived alongside communities of monks.

Celtic monks lived simple lives and walked everywhere – they said horses separated them from the people they might meet on the way. They also loved books and learning. Their monasteries produced beautiful writings like the famous ‘Book of Kells‘.

 

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