The Pulpit Tree!


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The Pulpit Tree!

In ancient Prydain/Britain, the sacred Yew Tree, was seen as a holy tree, a special tree, and a tree of life, with a longevity that scriveners gave to their biblical heroes. Well, the Yew tree makes the likes of Noah’s 950-years look like the twinkle of a star in comparison.  What fools these religionists think we are, to think we would believe such age can be attained by man!

The yew tree has been associated with death and the journey of the soul from this life to the next for thousands of years. It was sacred to Hecate, Ancient Greek Goddess of Death, Witchcraft and Necromancy, and was said to purify the dead as they entered the underworld of Hades.  Celtic druids also saw the yew as sacred, and planted it close to their temples to use in death rituals. Being a symbol of death, but very much alive, the yew came to represent eternity and is sometimes linked with the Tree of Life, which features in many religious beliefs and philosophies.  

This year, we in Britain are to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II, Platinum Jubilee with a four-day Bank Holiday from 2nd June to 5th June 2022.  Also, today to mark the occasion the Queen has announced a project to protect 70 ancient trees and 70 ancient woodland.  One of the tree’s will be the ancient 1,500-year-old Coeden Y Pulpud yn Sant Iago, Nantglyn, Dinbych or in English: The Pulpit Yew tree at St James, Brook Valley, Denbighshire.  My wife village, and as a child, I climbed the tree’s Welsh slate staircase up to the pulpit.  Where sermons are still preached in summer, and on special occasions.   

As children, my mother would take us to Nantglyn for a picnic during the summer fates, and Church and floral festivals, etc.   The village also boasts an ancient bridge, with two span arches.  In the rainy seasons, and winter the brook turns into turbulent river.  One can say that I walked in the footsteps of John Wesley (1703-1791), the English cleric, theologian, and evangelist, and the founder of Methodism, who is said preached there from the Yew Tree Pulpit.  For the life of me, why do Christian want to proselyte Christians, rustling Christians from other Christians faiths?  On the little church of Sant Iago/St James on dowsing (?) for energy ‘Ley lines’ revealed this church to be at the convergence of two energy lines, indicating a pre-Christian interest.  Says the Woodland Trust!  Also, San Iago, Parish church is on a probable Celtic Llan site (meaning that the present ancient church was built on an even old church site). The present church was first mentioned in 1284 and in the 1291 Taxatio* is recorded as having had an annual income of £2 13s 4d (£2.68p). In 1336 the revenue was transferred to the vicars choral and the cathedral; by 1537 the rectory had become part of the Bishop’s private estate. The emphasis Bkts (and Italics) are mine.

*A taxatio is an assessment for taxation, and the assessment is often called the Pope Nicholas IV taxatio because it was carried out on the orders of that pope. For nearly 250 years, virtually all ecclesiastical taxation of England and Wales was based on this extremely thorough and detailed assessment. It is a unique source for the medieval period: no other complete survey of its kind survives for any part of medieval Europe.  What do you say?



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