Our second stop in our trip to Kent was to Canterbury. What a neat town! We enjoyed strolling the streets and again admired how all the streets centered around the Cathedral. Such a reminder that truly our lives should center around God and how often they don't.
We wanted the children to see the Canterbury Cathedral...the web does a much better job than I can of explaining it's significance. I also knew that someday their English teacher would want them to read The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. It is the tales of pilgrims who came to visit the shrine to Thomas Beckett (which is pictured below).
Canterbury Cathedral is the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Christianity had started to become powerful in the Roman Empire around the third century. Following the conversion of Augustine of Hippo in the 4th century, the influence of Christianity grew steadily. The cathedral's first bishop was Augustine of Canterbury, previously abbot of St. Andrew's Benedictine Abbey in Rome; when other dioceses were founded in England he was made archbishop. He was sent by Pope Gregory the Great in 596 as a missionary to the Anglo-Saxons. Augustine founded the cathedral in 597 and dedicated it to Jesus Christ, the Holy Saviour. (Wikipedia)
It's hard to tell from the pictures that the cathedral has both Mideval and Roman architecture. Apparently King Henry VIII had the tomb (bones) of Thomas Beckett burned.
A pivotal moment in the history of the cathedral was the murder of the archbishop, Thomas Becket, in the north-west transept (also known as the Martyrdom) on Tuesday, 29 December 1170, by knights of King Henry II. The king had frequent conflicts with the strong-willed Becket and is said to have exclaimed in frustration, "Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?" Four knights took it literally and murdered Becket in his own cathedral. After the Anglo-Saxon Ælfheah, Becket was the second Archbishop of Canterbury to be murdered.
The posthumous veneration of Becket made the cathedral a place of pilgrimage. This brought both the need to expand the cathedral and the wealth that made it possible. (Wikipedia)
The memorial to where Thomas Beckett was murdered by King Henry II's soldiers.
The gardens in the back of the cathedral were absolutely gorgeous.