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 Issues | Church History | Theodore of Tarsus

Theodore of Tarsus (c601-690)
Archbishop of Canterbury and the man who brought into being the organization of the Church of England.


c601 Theodore was born in Tarsus in Cilicia.
c667 Appointed Archbishop of Canterbury whilst in Rome having never set foot in England nor knowing its languages. Theodore waited four months before traveling, in order that his hair could grow sufficiently long to adopt the hairstyle of western clergy!
668 (March 26th) Consecrated Bishop by Pope Vitalian
669 (May 27th) Theodore arrived in Canterbury and shortly afterwards undertook a tour of all the English people accompanied by Hadrian (who seems to have been sent with him by the Pope to ensure he did not favour Greek practices instead of Roman).
673 Theodore convened the Synod of Hertford which in many respects marks the beginning of the Church of England as a definite organization.
690 Died in London

Bede in his Ecclesiastical History states that both Theodore and Hadrian were men of great learning and that they attracted many students around them. He was also accepted and respected as having a degree of authority over all the English Churches.

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