“Look at the animals roaming in the forest; God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the birds flying across the sky; God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the tiny insects crawling in the grass; God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the fish in the river and the sea; God’s spirit dwells within them. There is no creature on earth in whom God is absent…………When God pronounced that his Creation was good, it was not only that his hand had fashioned every creature; it was that his breath had brought every creature to life. Look to at the great trees of the forest; look at the wild flowers and the grass in the fields; look even at your crops. God’s spirit is present within all plants as well/ The presence of God’s spirit in all living things is what makes them beautiful; and if we look with God’s eyes, nothing on earth is ugly.” Attributed to Pelagius from Listening for the Heartbeat of God.
We don’t really know how Christianity came to Britain. Some believe it came with the Roman army. It could just as well have come with the Middle Eastern traders who came to Britain to trade for copper and tin, among other products. If it did, it came as the middle eastern version before the political aspirations of the vicar of Rome and before the empire split in two. This early version of Christianity seems to have combined with the native Celtic view of the goodness of Nature. There is a line of monasteries and foundations that stretches from Ireland through the north of Britain, through northern Europe and down the length of Italy. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the monastery of Bobbio, founded by Columbanus, isn’t that far from Assissi. And Saint Francis sounds very like a Celt at times.