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Christianity probably came to Britain with the Roman legions, the spread of the faith being certainly helped by the infrastructure of the Roman Empire, resulting in the gradual conversion of the various Celtic people to the Christian faith. Thus a strong and lively Celtic church existed in Britain and Ireland before the Germanic invasions took place. We know that there were British bishops at church councils at Arles, 314 AD, and Rimini, 359 AD. There are records of the martyrdoms of Alban, Julius and Aaron. Such great numbers of Celts were converted that to be British and Celtic meant to be Christian. After the legions left there appear to have been some 150 years of warfare in Britain between the invading Anglo-Saxons and the original Celtic inhabitants. So when Augustine came from Rome in 596 he came into the conflict between the Anglo-Saxon conquerors and an indigenous church among a persecuted people.


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