LANCASTER
WHITHORN
CARLISLE
CARTMELL
FURNESS
TOGETHER
CUMBRIA AND BORDERS

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Jesus  and  Mary and the Disciples

 

Cumbria Christianity

Edmund Grindal
C. 1519 - 1583

ID:~UNID Grindal is perhaps best remembered as one of the few men
with the courage to say 'no' to Queen Elizabeth 1.

He was born in St Bees around 1519 and recent research has identified the house in which he was born, still standing in the village. He went to Cambridge and there came into the mainstream .of the reformed Protestant thinking. The reign of Queen Mary saw him in voluntary exile in Germany.
He returnad under Elizabeth to rapid promotion as Bishop of London (1559),
Archbishop of York (1570), and Archbishop of Canterbury (1576).

He was a learned man, a shrewd man, and a devoted pastor. The issue that brought him into conflict with the Queen was preaching. At a time when the church was short of good teachers of the faith, highly popular meetings would be held to which noted churchmen would gather to preach the word, two or three speaking on the same text. You might say the modern equivalent would be a Mission, and what's the harm in that. The Queen's advisers, however, saw in them centres of political disaffection. Grindal was told to
give orders for the prophesyings to be suppressed and refused. 'But surely I cannot marvel enough, how this strange opinion should once enter into your mind, that it should be good for the Church to have few preachers. Alas, Madam' is the Scripture more plain in any one thing, than that the gospel of Christ should be plentifully preached; and that plenty of labourers should be sent into the Lord's harvest; which, being great and large,
standeth in need, not of a few, but many workman'. 'I cannot with a safe conscience and without the offence of the majesty of God give my assent to the suppressing of the said exercises; much less can I send out any injunction for the utter and universal subversion of the same'. 'Bear with me, I beseech you. Madam, if I choose rather to offend your earthly Majesty than to offend the heavenly majesty of God'. For that he was disgraced, put under house arrest, stripped of his pow'rs, and nearly forced to resign the Archbishopric. He was a broken man, ill and blind. But it was still as Archbishop that he died, in 1583.

Grindal never forgot the land of his birth, 'that little angle of Copeland, the ignorantest in religion, and the most oppressed of covetous landlords'.
He met 'the first evil by founding St Bees School and the second by assisting the small tenant farmers to obtain long leases to give them security of tenure.

Commendation: 6th July.

Source: Patrick collinson, Archbishop Grindal, 1519 - 7583. (London. 1979).