MONASTERY IN BARNOLDSWICK 01

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Stanley
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MONASTERY IN BARNOLDSWICK 01

Post by Stanley » 08 Feb 2019, 07:23

MONASTERY IN BARNOLDSWICK 01

As many of you will remember one of my favourite parts of the long history of our town is the fact that we hosted the precursor to Kirkstall Abbey. Not many places as small as Barlick can boast of having a Cistercian Monastery. I have given you the brief history of it but as we move into 2019, taking into account my recent reading I thought it might be a good thing to dig a little deeper. That's right, Stanley is going to bang on about religion again! What I want to look at is the state of the things from about 300CE. (In case you're wondering, CE is the same as AD but is the more modern, logical way of denoting dates.)
A monastery is a place where like minded religious persons (Monks), at first men but very soon women formed their own institutions but these were called Convents or Nunneries, lived together for mutual support and as a way of putting an end to the practice of hermits living alone. At first they were a way of ensuring safety for the monks but as the power of the organised religions grew they became useful politically. The monastic tradition started in the East but was soon taken up by the Western church based in Rome. In the 6th century a set of Rules for monastic life were approved by Rome and are attributed to a monk called Benedict and all monasteries were encouraged to follow these, the Benedictine monasteries became universal. In 597CE Pope Gregory (The Great) sent a mission to The Britannic Isles under a priest called Augustine whose instructions were to 'convert' the inhabitants to Christianity. In fact what Gregory really meant, was regularise the Celtic Christianity that already existed by getting them to accept the practices laid down by Rome and persuade any Pagans to accept the same version of Christianity. The Celts had been practising Christianity since they received the Word from Gaul in the 3rd century and even had monasteries like the one on the Skellig Isles off Southern Ireland. The reason for this initiative was that the Western Church based in Rome was coming under pressure from the Eastern Church based in what was then Constantinople and felt the need to expand and consolidate their power.
That set the stage for what was to follow, the Isles became almost exclusively obedient to Rome in terms of religious practice. In Barlick we are certain that we had a Christian church by 600CE at the latest and it was overseen by a priest, almost certainly a monk who had been brought up under the Celtic tradition. This was where we stood in 1147 when Abbot Alexander and 12 monks came to Barlick to found a new monastery, by 1152 they had given up on us after demolishing our church and falling out with the locals. They moved to a better offer and founded Kirkstall Abbey. My question is, why did they come to Barlick in the first place?

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An early Saxon Church.
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Nolic
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Re: MONASTERY IN BARNOLDSWICK 01

Post by Nolic » 08 Feb 2019, 07:27

I look forward to the rest Comrade. Nolic
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Re: MONASTERY IN BARNOLDSWICK 01

Post by Stanley » 08 Feb 2019, 07:47

Thanks Comrade. I've been re-reading my theology and the history of the church and I think I have a bit more to say about our monks, mainly about what lay behind them coming in the first place. One thing about old age, if you use the time well you continue to learn and get a better understanding. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
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"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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Re: MONASTERY IN BARNOLDSWICK 01

Post by Cathy » 08 Feb 2019, 08:09

Looking forward to more Stanley. No pressure :smile:
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK... they know me here. :)

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Re: MONASTERY IN BARNOLDSWICK 01

Post by Stanley » 08 Feb 2019, 08:32

It's coming Cathy.....
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"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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