It's the year 664 and Whitby Abbey is hosting a Synod by royal request. Two opposing currents meet as the delegates arrive, with the date of Easter and the monks' haircuts dominating the agenda. It's the power of Rome and the pull of the saints, but most of all, it's about conformity.
And who can argue with that?
Colman for one, the impetuous Abbot of Lindisfarne. He's pitted against the ambitious Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, impatient to become a bishop. King Oswy has a lot on his mind, with a north-south divide in the country and the Mercians always at his back. Caedmon is in a world of his own. It falls to Abbess Hilda to navigate these choppy waters - and to fulfil her own destiny.
A portrait of monastic life in Anglo-Saxon England, Not Just Fish and Ships is a courtroom drama with a light touch, with more than a little resonance for our own quarrelsome times.
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