St Mary's Uttoxeter

England's Green & Pleasant Land

24 Jun 2020 • Articles

How much do you know about the life of Jesus as a teenager and as a young man in his twenties?

If your answer is 'nothing' you will be quite correct! There is nothing written about Jesus in the Bible from the time when he was a twelve year old boy talking to the religious leaders in the temple to the time when he was baptised by John in the River Jordan, aged thirty years old.

Where was Jesus and what was he doing while he was growing up? Did he spend all his time in Nazareth, working as a carpenter, or did he travel far and wide across the known world, listening to many different people and learning about their ways and their wishes for their lives?

No one knows for sure, but one legend tells us that Jesus was apprenticed as a shipwright on ships belonging to his great-uncle, Joseph of Arimathea. Joseph is mentioned in the Gospels; he was wealthy, devout and well-respected, and it is believed that he was a tin-merchant who travelled the length and breadth of the Roman Empire trading and buying tin.

Tin was mixed with copper to make bronze, an essential metal at that time, and tin was found in abundance in Cornwall and parts of Somerset. The popular British legend says that Joseph brought the young Jesus with him to the rolling green hills of England's west country, possibly landing at St. Just in Roseland to find fresh water and then journeying on to Glastonbury where Jesus built a small hut for them to live in for a while. The legend of the Glastonbury thorn says that Joseph planted his wooden staff in the ground and it blossomed and became a thorn tree which has flourished ever since.

Did those feet walk upon England's mountains green, and was the holy Lamb of God in England's pleasant pastures seen? We don't know, but let us work to build the new Jerusalem in every place.