To be sure, Christianity in the West is showing signs of worldly wear and tear. According to many reliable sources, our numbers are dwindling, our historical churches are being shuttered, and our Gospel message is rarely heralded as boldly as it once was. The future of the Christian faith, it seems, is in question. And yet did you know that there are over 1,000 centuries-old trees throughout the United Kingdom whose symbolic strength and longevity still preach on the everlasting nature of Christ’s kingdom and remind us that God is still on His throne?
For hundreds of years, the European yew tree has been an enigmatic, but familiar presence within the hallowed confines of many old churchyards across the British Isles. These striking trees, with their sprawling limbs and green needle-like leaves, have been a constant companion to the faithful believers of Britannia since the days when the Roman Empire still ruled over that rugged northern province. Today, these churchyard yews, over 1,500 by recent count, are acknowledged as an enduring British symbol of Christendom. Out of that number, around 250 are considered national treasures due to their incredible age and size, like the Crowhurst Yew in Surrey or the Fortingall Yew of Scotland. (more…)