Written from an Orthodox standpoint and intended primarily for older children and teenagers, this booklet, first printed in 2009, sold out and now reprinted, can also be read by adults. In simple language, it explains the history of the first thousand years of Christianity in Great Britain and Ireland. Giving the lives of the main saints of Britain and Ireland, it is abundantly illustrated with a map, eleven line drawings and thirteen icons, all printed on glossy paper.
Its chapters explain the Glastonbury legend of St Joseph of Arimathea, the stories of St Alban and the Celtic saints, Patrick, David, Columba, Aidan, the Italian Archbishop of Canterbury St Augustine, the Greek Archbishop of Canterbury St Theodore, then St Bede and other English heroes like St Edmund, St Alfred (with his unique icon) and St Alphege. It considers the Norman Invasion with sadness and looks forward to a potential rebirth of native Orthodoxy under the spiritual guidance of St John the Wonderworker and St Elizabeth the New Martyr. It concludes:
‘For we have a spiritual secret weapon buried in our Isles, which can deliver us from the fury of the Northmen, from whom we have suffered for a thousand years. This secret weapon, which the world cannot see, understand or take from us, is the prayers of the saints of the Isles – our True Glory. The Glory of the Isles is not in the pride of the past and its crimes. It is in the humility of the Saints. And this is what makes sincere Orthodox Christians different from others’.
Printed on high quality paper, with the 2012 icon of All the Saints of Britain and Ireland on the cover, this is an ideal resource for Orthodox church schools.
Bury St Edmunds, 2014. 38 pages. £4 (6 euros/$12) postage included.