a sunday in canterbury

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the last stop on our english-heritage-themed roadtrip last weekend was the charming town of canterbury – a place so stuffed with history - it’s really quite staggering. supposedly this spot of earth has been occupied by humans since the paleolithic times – tens of thousands of years! in 597 ad, pope gregory sent saint augustine to convert the anglo-saxon king of canterbury, then a roman town, to christianity, and thus for the last 1400 years this place has been a very significant spiritual destination. canterbury is considered the headquarters of the anglican church and its epic cathedral has been a major focus of pilgrimage for nearly a thousand years (remember chaucer’s canterbury tales??).

we had less than twenty four hours in canterbury, but very much enjoyed our stay at the most lovely bed & breakfast, our time at church (which happened to be across the street from our b&b – a three minute walk!), and our explorations around the incredible cathedral and the enchanting old town. soooo much history in the air!

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when we entered the cathedral, the magnificent organ was playing, filling those tall spaces with gorgeous music and making our visit so atmospheric!
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^^ it’s so astonishing to think about structures like this being built hundreds and hundreds of years ago. ^^
^^ the burial place of king henry iv and his wife. nbd. ^^
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^^ there’s a bunch of ruins around the periphery of the cathedral, dating back to saint augustine’s original church built in 597. amazing. ^^
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^^ the cloisters. so beautiful. ^^
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^^ the main street running through the old town is speckled with gorgeous old buildings like this one. ^^
^^ and a canal runs through it all! ^^
^^ we went to the top of westgate, the largest surviving city gate in england. the views over the city were perfect! ^^
^^ can you spot the boy in the middle of the road down there?! ^^
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^^ ian in front of westgate, and me in front of the entrace to saint augustine’s abbey. ^^
^^ the ruins of saint augustine’s abbey – layers and layers of church building and civilization. and check out that suuuuper green grass. in frigid january! ^^
^^ the grave of saint augustine, the first archbishop of canterbury. just a mere 1,411 years old. ^^

it was so nice to get out of the city for a little bit last weekend and to see more of england. there’s certainly so much to explore and to learn here.


  1. Charity
    Love your blog but so miss your posts about more ordinary days , your thoughts and feelings and your views . So much travel and sightseeing which is great but miss you !

    1. thanks for the feedback, kate. there has been a lot of sightseeing in my life lately! i'm really glad to hear you enjoy the more ordinary-day posts. some are definitely coming soon :) thanks for reading!!

  2. Hi Charity - just curious - please give me your thoughts on the teaching that if you are a Priesthood holder (or married to one) you will be given your own planet. What planet do you and Ian want?

    1. hi! this is an incredibly random question but i'm quite happy to answer.

      i believe that as children of god, we all have the potential to become like him. that's a pretty mind-boggling concept, but at the same time, it makes a lot of sense (to me) - loving parents surely want their children to obtain everything good they have. i believe that there is a continuation of life after physical death, and that life is eternal (also a hard concept for our mortal brains to wrap around!) - and spending all that time lounging around with my feet up sounds extremely boring and unproductive. i believe throughout eternal life i (and all of us!) will continue to learn, progress, develop, grow. i don't think i'll be given a planet (that would be a cool gift, though!), but i do believe i have the potential to work to develop one at some point in that very long time of eternity, if i choose. it's not so much about specifically holding the priesthood (which is shared in marriage, and generally between both men and women, in my understanding) as it is about showing faith in god (heavenly father and heavenly mother) through keeping divine commandments - choosing to qualify ourselves to truly obtain everything good they have.

      i hope that helps?

    2. Thanks! Your answer makes more sense than any answer I've been given on this topic. Most just say, 'oh, that's not something we have to worry about' - and some just get mad that I asked - probably because they're embarrassed they don't know the answer - LOL! Thanks again.

  3. Charity,
    I love your kind and sincere heart.

  4. Just curious, when you're on holiday or just away for a weekend do you attend church for the whole 3 hour block or just sacrament meeting?

    Personally, I would only want to go to sacrament meeting, as I feel the other 2 hours would take away what little time I had for touring.

  5. Currently taking a Stanford course by Jane Shaw, Dean of Religious Life - English Cathedrals: Spaces of Wonder, Worship, Music and Solace. Great to see your blog post right after listening to the Canterbury lecture, busily planning a cathedral focus for the next England visit! Ely, Durham, Salisbury, Lincoln, Gloucester - so, so beautiful, I must visit in person...

    Thank you so much for your efforts in blogging - I've only just found your blog, and it is delightful!