I am currently training to be a Guide at the Cathedral. The course is accredited by the Institute of Tourist Guides so it is not easy. Twelve of us started, I just hope 12 will finish!
It irritates me somewhat when people say it was Augustine who brought Christianity to Britain. He brought it to the Kingdom of Kent in 597 which is the year Columba died; who had already been Abbott of Iona for 35 years by then! In 604 Justus arrived to help Augustine and he was sent to Rochester. Our Cathedral is the second oldest foundation in the country, after Canterbury.
Justus founded a church in Rochester which was in need of repair when Gundulf arrived after the Norman Invasion. Gundulf demolished the church, moved it eastwards, and began to build the Cathedral which developed into the one we see today. So Rochester has stood witness to the Christian faith for over 1400 years. Gundulf also built the White Tower in London so we have a tenuous connection with the Tower of London.
The Prime Minister David Cameron recently proclaimed that “we are a Christian country and proud of it”. Do you agree? Whose side are you on? Cathedral or Tower?
Currently it feels as if the Tower is winning as Christianity is pushed more and more to the edge by the Politically Correct, all-inclusive movement. It is up to us to claim it back and challenge those who would dilute our Christian heritage.
I trust that in another 1400 years our Cathedral will still be a vibrant beacon of faith and not a quaint memorial to a bygone age. Are you up for the challenge?