Who we are
Founded in 37AD, it radiated across Europe, remaining faithful to its tradition and its spirituality during the first twelve centuries of the Christian era.
Restored in 1866, the Celtic Church has rediscovered its very riche heritage. The Celtic Church is one of the oldest in the Christian world. By tradition it was founded by Saint Joseph of Arimathea in 37AD, in Britain, in a place which is now called Glastonbury. In 63AD, another disciple, Saint Aristobulos also came to the British Isles. In six centuries, all the British Isles were to be Christianised.
This church, which spread across much of the Romano-Byzantine Empire, kept the freshness of the apostolic Church. She was free of all temporal power, poor and extraordinarily dynamic with numerous monasteries. From Ireland to Scotland, Brittany and to the boarders of Europe, thousands of Celtic monks carried a spirituality which, following the first fathers of the West, were a glory in the first millennium of the Christian era. We can recall these great names from her history: Patrick, Brigit, Columba, Brendan, Samson, Amand, Fare, Columban and many others.
The Celtic Church lost its sovereignty in the 13th century, but it's restoration began in 1866, by the grace of one inspired man, Bishop Jules Ferrette and the intuition of a Metropolitan Bishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church, the future Patriarch Peter-Ignatius IV. In 1955, Saint Tugdual, the founder of the Monastery of the Holy Presence, in Brittany, restored Celtic monasticism and its spirituality, very close to that of Saint Francis of Assisi.
In 1977 Mgr Mael, the present Primate of the Celtic Orthodox Church, put into action profound reforms, and since then the Church has continued to grow, regaining the Celtic history, traditions, her Rite and her spirit. New communities have been born, establishing ecumenical relations with other Churches. The Celtic Orthodox Church is an important part of the heritage of Western Orthodoxy.