Churches of Christ in Kent (South East
England) before and during the Reformation, thus showing, the church of Christ
in England is pre-Reformation, dispelling the myth that Reformation lead to
1Co 13:3 And though I
bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be
burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Dover, in Kent is just a little over twenty
miles from Calais, France. To the North is London, making it ideal for
communication with the continent and the capital. It was in Kent where lord
Cobham had his school to prepare men to preach the Gospel in the 1400s. Lollardy
had long been associated with Kent. Movement was both ways to and from the
continent, there was a circle consisting of Amsterdam in Holland, Colchester,
London and the Kent churches. These Christians to avoid persecution would flee
to the in of the above named locations. Lollards were known to refuse baptism to
their children until of "riper" years.
On 29th April, 1511, six years
before the Reformation (Luther nailing his
"Ninety-five Theses of Religion" to the
church door at Wittenberg)
William Carder of Tenderden, Kent was charged with a number of articles (listed
below) , including "it was enough to pray to almighty God alone, and therefore
we needed not to pray to saints for any mediation".
On May 2, 1511,
six men and four women from Tenterden
stood trial before William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury. The hearing was
held at the Archbishop's Mansion at Knoll (modern spelling Knole), where today
Knole Hall is. The location is near to the town of Sevenoaks (where seven oaks
once stood), Kent.
The charges were (modem spelling):
That in the sacrament of the altar
is not the body of Christ, but material bread.
That the sacrament of baptism and
confirmation are not necessary, or profitable for menís souls.
That confession of sins ought not
to be made to a priest.
That there is no more power given
by God to a priest than to a layman.
That the solemnization of
matrimony (by a priest) is not profitable or necessary for the well of a manís
That the sacrament of extreme
unction is not profitable or necessary to a manís soul.
That pilgrimages to holy and
devout places be not profitable, neither meritorious for manís soul.
That images of saints are not to
That a man should pray to no
saint, but only to God.
That holy water, and holy bread,
be not the better after the benediction made by the priest, than before
Joan Bocher (executed by
burning alive, 2 May 1550 at Smithfield, London, for heresy) was
a member at one time of the church at Eythorne and was well
known in the congregations in Kent. She has also been
known as Joan Boucher or Butcher, or as Joan Knell or Joan of
Joan's friendship became
well known with Anne Askew, and their involvement in smuggling
Tyndale's New Testament into Kent from the London congregations.
Anne Askew had even taken the Tyndale's New Testament into the
royal court, under her skirts.
By the 1530s the churches
in Kent and London were in fellowship, if not earlier, despite
for the next one hundred and fifty years of persecutions,
burnings and imprisonments.
Next - Churches of Christ
become established and the burnings of those people