Believe it or not, the oldest church in the England-speaking world is nearly 1,500 years old!

Saint Martin’s Church in Canterbury was once a Catholic chapel built for Saint Bertha, the first Catholic Queen of England to the first Catholic King of England Ethelbert of Kent.

When Saint Augustine arrived from Rome to found the English Church and his bishropic in 597AD, it became part of the new Diocese of Canterbury and the headquarters for his mission work.

After the Canterbury Cathedral and Saint Augustine’s Abbey were built, Saint Martin’s Church fell out of use but it’s historical importance remained.

According to Saint Bede, the building was actually once in use during Roman times. Interestingly, the church contains many reused Roman building structures.

Some parts of the walls are made of complete sections of Roman tiles and bricks. The core of the church was even built around the remains of a Roman tomb.

Saint Martin’s Church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and listed as a Grade I building of exceptional interest.

The monks of Saint Augustine continue their musical tradition today, the tower of the church having three different bells!

Look!

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