John Wycliffe's Church (1384)

Wycliffe was left alone by Courtenay, possibly because a stroke was considered to have rendered him helpless. However, in the two years before his life was finally curtailed by another stroke on the last day of 1384, Wycliffe wrote a torrent of tracts from his parish of Lutterworth. His thoughts were powerfully summarised in his work ‘Trialogue’, in which truth, falsehood and understanding had a conversation in which great truths were boldly professed. In it he says:

“The Church has fallen because she abandoned the Gospel and preferred the laws of the people. Although there should be a hundred Popes in the world at once, and all the friars living should be transformed into cardinals, we must withhold our confidence from them in the matter of faith except so far as their teachings are those of the Scriptures.”

Wycliffe is considered to be the first Christian reformer and grand-father of the Reformation.