Here’s the third in a series of six kids talks on British Church History. This talk focuses on how the church was organised during the reign of William the Conqueror. This talk has been given in church and also been adapted for a junior school assembly.
British Church History (Part 3) – Organised
After the arrival of Christianity to Britain, the formation of the Church of England, and it’s survival after attacks by the Vikings, the next major event in British Church History happened in the second half of the 11th Century and the following pictures will give you a clue as to what this event was all about.
What do the following objects and people have in common?
- Diary/Personal Organiser
- Shelf Unit
- Football Manager
They are all used to organise things, and the next major event in British Church History was the organisation of the church.
From the following clues, can you guess who the man responsible for this was? [William the Conqueror]
In Daniel 2:21 we read: “…he sets up kings and deposes them.” And then in Romans 13:1 we read: “…for there is no authority except that which God has established.”
These verses tell us that God is in total control over the rulers of countries, He sets up kings, and He establishes authorities. It would be easy to think of the Norman Invasion as a negative event in Britain’s history. Being invaded by another country isn’t a good thing.
But for Christianity in Britain, and the growth of the church, this was a good thing, because King William was responsible for organising the church in England so that Christianity would play a major role in the lives of people.
Some of the things King William was responsible for were the building of big new churches in every town and village, and cathedrals to be the spiritual centres of set areas (diocese) of the country. These new stone churches played a central role in community life. He also made his friend Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury and gave him responsibility for replacing the church leaders who weren’t doing their jobs properly and the bringing in of ‘Canon’ law which was a set of rules to guide church life.
From small beginnings, Christianity was now well and truly on the map in Britain, and the church was visible and central to community life.
Sadly that is not the case today for many reasons, and this should encourage us to pray both for our rulers (the Queen and Prime Minister) but also for us and all the other people in Britain who make up the church that we would be out in our communities making visible the good news about Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.
(Photo: Janet Burgess)