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Cathedral Constables

Canterbury Cathedral Constables Crest

The Cathedral’s Constabulary

Cathedral Constables' Association Crest

Portrait of Supt. Jim Morley

Supt. Jim Morley

Head Constable

James Morley MSyl MInstLM, is the Head Constable of the Cathedral Constabulary at Canterbury. Jim is the Fire and Security lead at Canterbury Cathedral and sits on the Safeguarding Committee. Jim spent 24 years in the British Army, ending his career as a Senior Warrant Officer and is the national lead for Heritage Crime for the Cathedral Constabulary Association and sits on the National Cathedral Chief Officers’ Council. In 2018, Jim received the CCA’s highest award, a commendation for bravery from the Royal Humane Society. In addition to these, Jim also holds the CCA Diamond Jubilee and Faithful Service medals in recognition of his service to Cathedral Constabulary.

Off duty, Jim is married with a son and daughter, and is a keen historian.

Officer Profile

Contables shake hands and exchange a certificate of recognition
A/LC HEAD receiving a Deputy Head Constable’s Recognition Award in December 2019

Acting Leading Constable 1 016 Jay HEAD

Jay has served at Canterbury Cathedral since 2004, and is now the Acting Leading Constable supervising A Section. In 2019 Jay was promoted to Senior Constable and qualified in Cathedral Constabulary Policing, Jay was sworn in with other members of the Constabulary as a warranted officer by Dean Robert and the Chair of the Bench of Magistrates in Canterbury. Jay holds both the CCA Diamond Jubilee and Faithful Service medals for long service, and will bring his sixteen years of cathedral experience to what will be his second Lambeth Conference in 2020.Off duty, Jay is married with a stepson and daughter, and is keen on personal fitness and martial arts.

Constable demonstrates use of a fire extinguisher
Senior Constable 1006 Graham Dixon delivers Fire Refresher Training


As well as their officer safety and legislation training, the Cathedral Constables are trained as first responders for fire and first aid emergencies. This training is ongoing.

History, Affiliation and Oversight

Until the First World War, Canterbury Cathedral retained a unitary Constabulary of paid, uniformed Cathedral “Bobbies”, equipped identically to the then Canterbury City Police Force, with powers under the Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act and both Statute and Common Law. This was, and is, in common with several Cathedrals around the UK and some overseas. In 2016, the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury approved the revival of the office of the Cathedral Constable at Canterbury due to the changing nature of social and economic times, service delivery reductions by the emergency services and vicarious liability for the safety and security of staff, residents, visitors and worshippers.

The Contables of 1910, posing for photograph.
Assembled Constables of Canterbury C1910 with their Head Constable. Cathedral Constables of the time are easily identifiable by their cruciform helmet plates and church medals, worn on the right breast. The department gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Volunteer Archivist Mr Andy LINGWOOD for his interest in the Cathedral Constabulary and his ongoing research into our history.

The Cathedral Constabularies now operate nationally alongside their Home Office County Police Force under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by a senior Silver Level Commander and with the approval of the Chief Constable for that County and the approval of the Cathedrals’ Dean and Chapter.


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