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Canterbury Cathedral

The Home of Christianity in England

The story of Canterbury cathedral is the story of Christianity in England. Since 597 AD Canterbury has been the seat of the head of the Christian Church in England, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The present archbishop, the Most Revd. Dr. Rowan Williams, is 104th in direct line of succession since St. Augustus became the first Archbishop of Canterbury and all England and changed the course of English history.

Canterbury & St Augustine

Canterbury was already an important town—the Saxon capital of Kent—when St Augustine first arrived on his mission to convert the pagan English to Christianity. Originally the site of a Roman town called Durovernum it was later called Cantwarabyrig—Old English meaning “Fortress of the Men of Kent”.

Today the Cathedral, the ruins of Saint Augustine’s Abbey, and the ancient Saint Martin’s Church have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site spanning 1500 years of English history.

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