CHRIST in BRITAIN
Various and many historical documents indicate that, after Jerusalem, the first Christian church was established in England. It's founder, and founder as well of many seminaries, was Joseph of Arimathea, the uncle of the Virgin Mary. He was Jesus' great uncle. Joseph was a rich merchant with a large fleet of ships that ran the tin trade for the Roman Empire, between England and the Mediterranean.
As Jesus' great uncle, Joseph became Jesus' Guardian (by Law, as next of kin) when Mary's husband Joseph died early in Jesus' life. He took Jesus with him on his journeys to Glastonbury, England. The place we know as Avalon; the King Arthur Avalon. This is the location of the first Christian church built above ground.
To paraphrase an old saying, "All Christian roads lead to England."
The following informtaion was taken from two of the many volumes on the subject of Jesus' spending time in Britain. They are, the Traditions of Glastonbury, by E. Raymond Capt, and Did Our Lord Visit Britain, by C.C. Dobson.
If Jesus was indeed absent from Judea from age twelve to age thirty, as some believe, we should be able to find evidence that this was the case. In Matt 17 Jesus was being asked for the Stranger's tax. They seemed aware that Jesus lived in Capernaum. They didn't know if he was exempt from the tax, having been gone for a long time.
John the Baptist, who was Jesus' cousin, and spent time with Jesus as they grew up, was very uncertain as to Jesus' identity at his baptism. If Jesus had spent the "lost years" in Judea, he and John would certainly have seen each other at the three yearly Feasts.
Then we find two accounts of Jesus' identity being questioned. "Is this not Joseph's son?" "Brought up here?" (Luke 4) "Is not this the carpenter's son?" (Matt 14) And in John 1 we find that Nathaniel, who only lived five miles from Nazareth, doesn't know Jesus. Capt says that Nathaniel was from Cana.
Of Jesus' visits to England, scattered evidence abounds. Here's a short scenario from C.C. Dobson
"As a boy He was brought merely for a visit by Joseph of Arimathea on one of his voyages. Later as a young man He returned and settled at Glastonbury for the purpose of quiet study, prayer, and meditation. Here He erected for Himself a small house of mud and wattles. " Dobson goes on to present historical evidence.
In a letter to Pope Gregory, St.Augustine states that there was a church "constructed by no human art, but divinely contructed (or by the hands of Christ Himself), for the salvation of His people."
The historian, Gildas, says Jesus' "Light and precepts" were "afforded...to this island during the ...last year of the reign of Tiberius. Tiberius retired to Caprae in A.D. 27.
William of Malmesbury includes in his writings the contents of a letter given by King Ina to Glastonbury, 700 AD."To the ancient church, situate in the place called Glastonbury (which Church the Great High Priest and Chiefest Minister formerly through His own ministry, and that of angels....." This confirms Gildas' statement that Jesus had a ministry at Glastonbury.
The historical records called the Domesday Surveys, also bear witness to Jesus' presence in Glastonbury. These surveys state that Glastonbury contained 12 hides (160 acre parcels) of land that "have never paid tax." This was because the King Arviragus gave these parcels to Joseph of Arimathea when he arrived in England in 37 AD.
Four of the many traditions of Jesus coming to England are discussed in Capt's book.
Ancient carvings on the stone arch of Place Manor Church has an insignia of an anchor, a lamb and cross. The accompanying pictographs tell the story of Jesus and His uncle coming to Place for tin.
Another traditional story is that of Jesus teaching the miners of Cornwall how to smelt tin from ore.
Old Cornwall mining Ordinance maps show two interesting names. "Corpus Christi" (Body of Christ), and "Wheel of Jesus" (wheel is a Cornish name for mine). Also found in abundance in Cornwall's mining area are "Tunic Crosses." These crosses picture a Christian cross on one side and the image of a young lad dressed in a short tunic; obviously not a picture of a crucified or risen Christ.
This quote from Capt relates the Mendips mining area to Joseph and Jesus. "Traditions among the hill folk of Somerset relate that Joseph, after first seeking tin from the Scillies (islands) and Cornwall, came to the Mendips and was accompanied on several occassions by the boy Jesus. At the parish Church of Priddy, high on top of the Mendips, they have an old saying: 'As sure as our Lord was at Priddy.' And a carol sung by the children of Priddy begins: "Joseph was a tin merchant, a tin merchant, a tin merchant, and goes on to describe him arriving from the sea in a boat."
Much has been written about the Lost Years of Jesus. Many accounts place him in India. One South American tradition sounds very much like Jesus visiting that continent. In fact, many say that the complete and speedy success of the Spanish invaders was due to this tradition; that the Visitor prophsied that He would return.
Consider. If Joseph had a fleet of ships, that gave Jesus access to worldwide travel. Do not doubt for even a second that world travel to ALL lands was possible. There is abundant evidence to prove the fact.
The traditions of Glastonbury and Cornwall form the following scenario:
Joseph of Arimathea was an uncle of the Virgin Mary, being a younger brother of her father. He gained his wealth as an importer in the tin trade, which existed between Cornwall and Phoenicia. On one of his voyages he took Our Lord with him when a boy. Our Lord either remained in Britain or returned later as a young man, and stayed in quiet retirement at Glastonbury. Here he erected for himself a small house of mud and wattle. Later Joseph of Arimathea, fleeing from Palestine, settled in the same place and erected a mud and wattle church there.
You may find The Traditions of Glastonbury and a very nice video tape showing the locations around Cornwall at
Mr. Capt's website.
The titles used for the Britain pages may be found in the
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This page last updated 6/24/97