Translation of St Thomas: Saturday 7 July 2018

Canterbury Cathedral

Many of those arriving in Canterbury on Saturday 7 July will be aware that it is  the Translation of St Thomas Becket Day,

This marks the day in 1220 when Thomas Becket’s body was moved upstairs from the Cathedral crypt to the new shrine in the Trinity Chapel behind the high altar.



If you arrive on Friday you could attend the annual St Thomas More Service & Lecture at St Dunstan’s which is the last church stop on the Pilgrims’ Way.

Friday is the anniversary of Thomas More’s execution at the Tower of London in 1535. He is often likened to Becket in standing up against the power of a king called Henry.

The speaker is author Dr Joanne Paul of the University of Sussex whose talk is called Utopia and Beyond; lessons from the pen of Thomas More.

The commemoration starts at 7.30pm and is followed by refreshments in the hall.



A Medieval Pageant featuring historical characters sets out from the city’s West Gate at 11am for St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Burgate where there are all day activities.

At Canterbury Cathedral:

12.30pm Festal Anglican Communion in Trinity Chapel

3.15pm Choral Evensong & procession to shrine 3.15pm

8pm Roman Catholic Mass; celebrant Bishop Nicholas Hudson; enter by south door.



The next day is a Sunday and it is interesting to recall that the Sunday after the Translation was also considered to be a pilgrimage day. It was called Relics Sunday.  Sung Eucharist is at 11am; Choral Evensong 3.15pm.


One thought on “Translation of St Thomas: Saturday 7 July 2018”

  1. We have just walked a variation of your route from Southwark to Canterbury, going via Swanley, Eynsford, Wrotham, Aylesford, Charing, Challock and the Great Stour Way.

    We were able to get stamps at churches only in Southwark, Trottiscliffe and Hollingbourne.
    St Martin of Tours Eynsford was open; manager of shop opposite had an address stamp.
    Snodland – no churches open; post office stamped us with their VAT number.
    Ss Peter&Paul Aylesford – closed but the parish office had a plain office stamp
    Ss Peter&Paul Charing – open but the stamp had gone missing; staff in village shop kindly signed for us.
    Chilham – stamp was in the White Horse.
    St Mary Chartham – closed – the staff in the Artichoke signed.

    When we explained what we were doing most people were very happy to sign and date our cards. In retrospect we should have asked more frequently if the pubs and cafes where we stopped had a stamp of their own.

    Maybe this will help another set of pilgrims!

    (The Evensong for the Translation was tremendous, with the whole congregation invited to process behind the clergy and choir to the shrine for the censing and prayers)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *