“On May the 4th the Church of England celebrates the witness of the Saints and Martyrs of the Reformation Era. What is significant about this day is that we do not simply remember protestant martyrs, those like Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer, who died for maintaining adherence to the Church of England in the face of Roman Catholic persecution. We also remember those Roman Catholics who died at the hands of Protestants for maintaining their Faith and allegiance.

We are recognizing that there was true Godliness and great courage in martyrs on both sides of that divide, and therefore also recognizing that there was terrible error and great evil committed by those who ordered the martyrdoms on both sides!

It is a salutary lesson in humility; personal humility as one stands in awe of the holiness and courage of those who witnessed unto the point of death, but also corporate humility, humility and repentance for the Church as an Institution as we remember how Christians have turned so swiftly from being oppressed to becoming oppressors.

There is no doubt that hundreds supporting the catholic and protestant causes were condemned to death between 1534 and 1603 -under the various Tudor monarchs, Henry V111,Edward V1, Mary ,and Elizabeth“.

I wonder what happened in Olney and the surrounding area Did the priests and the politically active, here change their allegiance as the monarch changed :or  were they accused of treason and suffered for it

A collect for May 4th
Merciful God, who, when your Church on earth was torn apart
by the ravages of sin, raised up men and women in this land
who witnessed to their faith with courage and constancy:
give to your Church that peace which is your will,
and grant that those who have been divided on earth
may be reconciled in heaven, and share together in the vision of your glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever  Amen

Christians are still being persecuted for their faith .We pray peace between Christians who think differently about their faith need not lead to violence ,and that we can live together in the peace of Christ.

 [Janet Lawrence]