As I write, this is the anniversary of the death of William Tyndale who was martyred in Belgium on October 6 1536. A special service of remembrance was held last evening to commemorate the life of this great man who made such a profound impact on English church, language and culture.
Although born in North Nibley Tyndale lived and worked at the Manor House next to St Adeline’s church. It was there that he felt called of God to translate and publish the first Bible in the English language.
Voted by the BBC in 2002 as one of the Top 100 British people in history he lived it out through his linguistic skills and his deep knowledge of the Bible. He was deeply influenced by the work of Dutch scholar and theologian Erasmus and also by Martin Luther. He is mentioned in the BBC’s “Wolf Hall” when Thomas Cromwell recieves a copy of his newly translated Bible.
He reasoned that even the ‘ploughboy’ should have access to the Bible in a language he could read and understand. Up until then studying scripture was confined to those who understood Latin. He also found that the clergy were woefully ignorant of what the Bible taught.
St Adeline’s is built from plans and stones taken from Tyndale’s original chapel on an adjacent site. A plaque outside the front door of the church gives recognition to the origin’s of the church and its historical significance.
There is now a booklet “The Life of William Tyndale” giving an outline of his life, his Bible translation and his connection to Little Sodbury available for purchase – for details click here.
The memorial plaque by the church entrance reads:
ST ADELINE’S LITTLE SODBURY
BUILT IN 1859 FROM THE STONES AND PLANS OF
WILLIAM TYNDALL’S LITTLE CHURCH BEHIND
LITTLE SODBURY MANOR. HERE HE HEARD THE CALL
TO TRANSLATE THE BIBLE INTO ENGLISH IN 1520
MARTYRED 6TH OCTOBER 1536
“BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOR EVER”