CELTIC or KELTIC CHURCH (Lat. ('el. tieus. front Celtcr, Gk. Kii.7ac, lidtai, or Kt.2roi, Keltui: originally meaning high. and probably connected with Lith. keltas, high. keihngs, hill, Lit. c? /sus. high, Gk. Ko2cri-4, ko/6nos, hill. less plausibly connected with 01r. Goidci, Gael. (;aid/icui, 'Mel, Gael). The earliest Christian Church in Great Britain and Ireland. It is not definitely known when Christianity was there introduced. Boman tradition puts it in the Second Century as the result of a request from King Lucius of Elentherius. Bishop of Rome from 177 to 193; others argue for the same only they connect it with the fierce persevution at Lyons. which drove Christians across the English Channel. These fugitives car ried with them the Eastern form of Christianity which the Lyons Church had. In the Third Cen tury Christianity existed in Britain; and in the Fourth. bishops from that country sign con ciliar rolls. In the Fifth Century the British province of Britain was essentially Christian. In the sixth Century the invading Saxons drove the Celts into the mountains of \Vales and there four bishoprics existed. Augustine was sent to England by Gregory I. in 59(1, and so the 1;ontan form of Christianity, which in some de tails differed from the Celtic form, especially as to the date of observing Easter. which the Celts in common frith the Eastern Church observed on the 14th of Nisan, on whatever day of the week it came, first found lodgment on British soil. In 603 a conference was held by Augustine
with some Celtic bishops, but his haughty bear ing alienated them. Gradually. however, the Roman form encroached upon the Celtic. and in 777 the last station in South \Vales had con formed to House. Still the Celtic Church not extinct farther north, but it was declining; and in 1172 it was reformed upon the model of Rome.
Christianity was introduced into Ireland by Saint Patrick, sent by Pope Celestine about 475. Nearly the whole island Was converted before his death. As he was the grandson of Christians who dwelt on the Clyde. Christianity must have penetrated into Scotland in the Fourth Century, or even earlier. But it was strengthened by Irish monks, who, coining with Saint C()Iumba about .5d3, carried on missionary operations from lona as it centre, and especially in Northumbria. In 664 the Celtic Church in Northumbria con formed to the Roman mollel, and so its separate history ended, as was the ease in Scotland in 1153. In Ireland. the merging of the Celtic into the Boman rite Was completed in the sante year. and henceforth England, Scotland, and Ireland were Christian without variant rites and cere monies. See CuLDEEs.