Autumn Book Review
“An Forth Keltek”
Last autumn I was surprised to receive a book in the post with a very strange title – An Forth Keltek. Where did it come from and what did it mean? Thankfully the book arrived with a note of explanation – it came from across the channel (the Bristol Channel that is!), the language was Cornish, the author was Andy Phillips. Andy is an Anglican priest and Tas a’n Gowethas (Fellowship Father) of the Cowethas Peran Sans (Fellowship of St Piran). This ecumenical Christian fellowship was established in 2007 seeking to rediscover Cornwall’s Celtic spiritual heritage in inspiring living faith and action within the contemporary setting of the 21st Century.
An Forth Keltek (The Celtic Way) provides an illuminating introduction into contemporary spirituality in its broadest sense with intriguing references to personal encounters such as the conversation around the “sacred fire” with the colorfully dressed New Age protestor Taurus! The book goes on to describe new expressions of church with particular reference to the outworking of modern expressions of Celtic Christianity such as the Iona and Northumbria Communities. Andy goes on to argue that the “Celtic Vision” needs to be broadened from the modern predominance of Scotland, Ireland and Northumbria to include Cornwall, Wales and Brittany which have tended to be overlooked within much of the popular literature. He provides a helpful synopsis of the Celtic mission in these regions with references to notable saints. It is good to see that Llanilltud Fawr is highlighted as a major centre of Christian mission. Even though there are no churches dedicated to Illtud in Cornwall we do share a spiritual father in Samson, Illtud’s most famous pupil. An Forth Keltek draws greatly upon history for inspiration and direction, but its main focus is to encourage faithful living in the present through a disciplined life of prayer, being courageous in taking risks, being sacrificial in our concern for our environment, and being dedicated to the pursuit of personal holiness.
An Forth Keltk is a challenging read! There may well be things that you find to be uncomfortable, but you are sure to be inspired by the “Call to Sainthood” which it encourages in all of us who seek to take up our cross and follow Christ.
Will you be courageous enough to take up the challenge and read An Forth Keltek? I commend it to you as a risk worth taking…
An Forth Keltek by Andy Phillips is available at the Church Shop priced £8.
Information about Cowethas Peran Sans (Fellowship of St Piran) can be found at: