Exploring Canterbury: England's Religious Past and Present with Simon Richmond

Exploring Canterbury: England's Religious Past and Present with Simon Richmond


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Canterbury is an English city set in the beautiful Kent countryside with an extraordinary history stretching back 2000 years. Location of a Roman fort, the backdrop to Chaucer's Tales and the scene of the most notorious assassination of the Middle Ages, it is also home to three ancient monuments – Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church – that together comprise a single Unesco World Heritage Site.

St Martin’s Church is where Pope Gregory’s emissary Augustine baptized the Saxon King Ethelbert around 597 AD, legitimizing Christianity in England. The Benedictine monk went on to found the abbey that would bear his name along with the astonishing cathedral that has been the Mother Church of the Church of England for nearly five centuries. The murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket here in 1170, and his subsequent canonization, transformed the Cathedral into a shrine attracting pilgrims from across Europe.

Led by Kent-based guidebook writer Simon Richmond, this Conversation will shine a light on the rich variety of architecture and fascinating characters in Canterbury’s tale. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation of this quintessentially English city, the starring role it has played in English history, and how it can be used as a base from which to explore this corner of the so-called Garden of England.

Simon Richmond is a writer and photographer who has specialized in travel for over 25 years. He co-wrote the first five editions of the award-winning Rough Guide to Japan and Rough Guide to Tokyo. Simon’s expertise on Japan was gained whilst living for several years in Tokyo in the early 1990s and working as an editor for the business news organization the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. He first visited Naoshima in 2000 and has returned several times since to document this unique art project as it has spread to other islands in Japan’s Inland Sea.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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