Primarily this is a place of Christian community, worship and witness. We believe that God’s saving love has been revealed to us in the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth (see What we believe | The Church of England).
Every stone and stained glass window is shaped to give glory to Christ whose name is given to this metropolitical cathedral church. St Augustine was sent here by Pope Gregory the Great as a Christian missionary in 597. He discovered indigenous Christians and worked with them to establish a larger Christian community. In time this became the principal seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury who now leads the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Here our stories of church and state intersect. This includes the martyrdom of Archbishop Thomas Becket on 29 December 1170. He was canonised as St Thomas of Canterbury. Canterbury was already a site of pilgrimage, but St Thomas’ shrine elevated it to one of the most important in medieval Christendom. Subsequent centuries offer layer after layer, making a ‘thick story’ to discover. We sense this in the majesty of our medieval building, the quiet mystery of our crypt, and as our imagination is fired walking around our gardens, ruins and cloisters.
Today, our community is drawn from local people and Christians from across the Diocese of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion, from visitors and tourists, from refugees and those cut off from society through exclusion as well as thousands who join us online for worship. Here we are drawn together in a pilgrimage of faith. Like medieval pilgrims to Canterbury, we find it to be a place of miracle and transformation where we encounter the presence of Jesus Christ.
The Very Reverend Dr David Monteith
Dean of Canterbury
A Pilgrimage of Prayer
Lent and Holy Week
Join us for worship, Lenten event series and our Good Friday family service.
Regular worship times
For more than 1,400 years God has been worshipped in Canterbury Cathedral. There’s history in every chime of our bells, and passion in every note sang by our choir.
07.30 Monday - Friday
09.15 Weekends and Bank Holidays
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) and Counsel
12:00-13:00 Fridays, in The Holy Innocents Chapel (subject to change around events)
Outside of these time, Chaplains are always available should you want to speak with them.
|12.30 (Wednesdays and Feast Days only)
|Daily Choral Evensong or Said Evening Prayer with Organ Meditation*
|17.30 Monday - Sunday
|Sunday Choral Eucharist*
All are welcome and there is no charge to attend a service.
*Live streamed online.
Find out more
Prayers have been said at Canterbury Cathedral for more than 1,400 years and people of every age pray every day. Whether you are a child, young person or an adult, please join us in our daily prayer.
Will I meet the Archbishop of Canterbury?
The Archbishop only visits the Cathedral at certain times of the year. You are unlikely to encounter him on your visit to the Cathedral.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England. He is 105th in a line which goes back more than 1,400 years to Augustine of Canterbury, sent from Rome in 597AD.
Our active community
There’s over 300 paid staff, supported by over 600 volunteers at the Cathedral, welcoming all into the grounds and building.
You may meet a range of people during your visit, from our Constables who keep the Precincts safe, to our Shepherds and guides who are always happy to answer any questions you have.
Our volunteers are a major part of the running of the Cathedral. Whether that’s our Flower Arrangers, Bellringers, Stewards, Servers, Sunday Club Assistants, Cathedral Guides, Chaplains or Learning Volunteers – they all make Canterbury Cathedral the welcoming and impressive place that it is.
As well as keeping the Cathedral safe and secure, our constables are trained as first responders for fire and first aid emergencies.
Listen to the Cathedral’s 20+ bells which are an important part of the Cathedral’s worship. Great Dunstan, the Cathedral’s largest bell, often commemorates services.
"When I did my assistants training I took part in a candlelight pilgrimage one evening around the Cathedral. It was led by Canon Clare Edwards. Her lovely voice singing prayers was truly inspirational to me. It rekindled my faith, which had been absent since my teens.
Then with the help of Clare and the Reverend Bill Hornsby, it culminated in me being confirmed by Bishop Trevor on Easter Saturday in 2018.
This has changed my life."