I am English through and through. I can't help it. I have been tracing my ancestors for years and all of them are English, except for one distant great-great-grandfather who was French. So technically I am 3% French.
Being so rooted in one place, and one country, I have a great attachment to the history of England, and the wider British Isles. I have always wanted to know about the Christian history, which still is present in the material and cultural landscape. Just 20 miles from my home in one direction is one of the oldest Christian places of worship in the country. It is found in the well-preserved ruins of a Roman villa, in which one wing of the substantial property was converted in the 4th century into a Church with an external entrance. So it was being used by the local community.
20 miles in the other direction is the ruined Abbey where one of my patron saints, St Theodore of Tarsus, was buried, and perhaps still is, since it seems likely the 'Reformers' missed his tomb when they destroyed everything else. It is a great blessing to visit the ruins in the better weather and spend some time sitting quietly in prayer at the place where is grave is marked.
This great love for the English and British Christian heritage has caused me to spend time over the last years in compiling and writing a book of Orthodox British Saints, that is, those Christian figures who lived roughly before the Norman Conquest.
I have written other things before, and published them, but this volume will be self-published through a local company called Getting Yourself Published, so that it will be available on Amazon and other online retailers. I have decided to call it, Holy People, Holy Places, since it will also describe many of those places associated with these saints which can still be visited.
I hope that the manuscript will be completed in the new year, and then work its way through the publishing process to be ready for Pascha 2011.