It is said with some truth that there is no progress without loss; and it is always said, by those who wish to destroy good things, that progress requires it. No great insight or experience of the world is necessary to see that such people really care nothing for progress. They wish to destroy for their profit, and they, being clever, try to persuade us that progress and change are synonymous.
Yesterday as I wandered by the Minster I checked to see the time of Evensong (sung evening prayer) and noticed that it was the Feast of Miles Coverdale. About tens yards later I noticed the historic marker on the side of the Minster (below). This kind of resonance is everywhere in York.
Coverdale’s translation of the Psalter is used in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, and is the most familiar translation of the psalms for many Anglicans all over the world.
This really wonderfully rendered bronze of Constantine I is situated outside the entrance of York Minster. The minster sits above the Roman headquarters where Constantine was proclaimed Emperor. Below is a link that gives his history.
The statue and the church side by side is a visual reflection of the history of the Church since Constantine made it legal and then favored. We have never been the same. It is a controversial marriage no doubt. Those who deplore it do so from the safe distance and comfortable situation that choice made for us. The truth is it is hard to see how the Church would have survived without Constantine but we can’t know that. So here he is sitting next to a medieval minster that he made possible. I wonder what he would think?
Constantine was proclaimed Emperor near the spot this statue of him seated on his throne sits. The Minster behind him his a reminder that the Church as we know it is largely due to his choices about faith.