Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral
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Canterbury Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Cathedral is both a holy place and part of a World Heritage Site. It is the home of a community made up of many different types of people all of whom seek to make the Cathedral a place of welcome, beauty and holiness. We hope you will be inspired to visit Canterbury and the Cathedral and look forward to welcoming you.

Pilgrims and visitors have made their way to Canterbury Cathedral since the Middle Ages. It remains one of the most visited places in the country, and, just as important, a living community. Visitors have always been made welcome, in the ancient tradition of Benedictine hospitality. We continue the tradition, warmly inviting everyone to share with us the beauty and the unique atmosphere of one of the great holy places of Christendom.

The Cathedral's history goes back to 597AD when St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great as a missionary, established his seat (or 'Cathedra') in Canterbury. In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and ever since, the Cathedral has attracted thousands of pilgrims, as told famously in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Venue Type:

Sacred space

Opening hours

Contact venue for more information

Admission charges

There is a charge to enter the precincts and the Cathedral unless you are attending a Service. This charge contributes towards the upkeep of the Cathedral and its activities.

Adults £6.50 (pre-booked groups £5.50)
Concessions £5.00 (pre-booked groups £4.50)

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Explorer Backpacks

  • 3 — 7 April 2017

Pick up an Explorer Backpack to embark on a family quest around Canterbury Cathedral. Use your binoculars and magnifying glass to investigate tombs, monuments and stained glass. Discover fascinating stories and take part in a fun drawing challenge.


Midday Recital

  • 7 April 2017

Informal Recital performed by Cantiacorum.


Organ Recital

  • 22 April 2017

Organ Recital by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers of Westminster Abbey. Internationally recognised as a conductor and organ recitalist, he has given concerts all over the world, including the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout Europe, and appeared as organ soloist in the BBC Proms and at many other festivals.


Canterbury Choral Society Concert

  • 29 April 2017

Canterbury Choral Society brings together two of Bach's best loved choral works, Magnificat and Cantata No. 11, for its spring concert. Canterbury Choral Society are joined by the London Handel Orchestra who play Bach's famous Suite in D, with its Air on a G string as one of the central movements.


Informal Recital

  • 12 May 2017

Informal Recital by the Canterbury Singers. The chamber choir was founded in 1953 under the patronage of the composer Edmund Rubbra and is now under the musical directorship of Cathedral Second Assistant Organist Adrian Bawtree.


Stonemason Tour and Afternoon Tea

  • 12 May 2017
  • 28 July 2017

Heather Newton, Head of Conservation, will give a fascinating overview of current projects and a rare opportunity to experience a behind-the-scenes tour of the Stonemasons' workshop.

Appropriate footwear and warm clothes are advised and this tour is only for the fit and able, with a good head for heights.


Organ Recital

  • 27 May 2017

Organ Recital by Dr David Newsholme who is the Director of the Girls’ Choir and Assistant Organist at Canterbury Cathedral. David has previously held posts as a singer, organist and teacher at Worcester and Salisbury Cathedrals and Winchester College. He studied at New College, Oxford, York University and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. David is a qualified teacher of music at secondary school level, a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and holds a Doctorate in Music.

David’s programme will be:

Bach/Dupré Sinfonia to Cantata no. 29

Bach Chorale partita: ‘Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig’, BWV 769

Alain Deuxième fantaisie (JA 117)

Durufle Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d’Alain, op. 7

Howells Master Tallis’s Testament (Six Pieces for Organ)

Parry Toccata and Fugue ‘The Wanderer’


Canterbury Cathedral Open Gardens Weekend

  • 27 — 28 May 2017

Canterbury Cathedral Open Gardens Weekend - all details to be confirmed.


Midday Recital

  • 29 May 2017

Informal midday recital by the St Matthew's Cobo and Ste Marie du Castel Choir, Guernsey.


Informal Recital

  • 9 June 2017

Informal recital by the choir of Whitgift School.


Midday Recital

  • 13 June 2017

Informal midday recital by the Chapel Choir, 1st Baptist Church, Pensacola, Florida.


Organ Recital

  • 17 June 2017

Organ Recital, by Dr David Flood who is the Master of the Canterbury Cathedral Choristers and the Cathedral Organist, and as such is responsible for every aspect of the Cathedral’s music programme. David has been Organist and Master of the Choristers since 1988, having previously been Organist of Lincoln Cathedral. Prior to that he had been Assistant Organist at Canterbury Cathedral. He has been a key participant in four Enthronements of Archbishops and two Lambeth conferences but it is the daily sequence of sung services which is his pride and joy. He is an Hon Fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University and a Visiting Fellow of St John’s College, Durham. He was awarded an honorary DMus by the University of Kent in 2001.

David’s programme will be:

Langlais Hymne d’action de grâce: Te Deum

Bach Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C, BWV 564

Bach Chorale prelude: ‘Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele’, BWV 654

Mendelssohn Sonata no.4 in B flat, op. 65 no. 4

Bossi Scherzo in g, op. 49 no. 2

Messiaen Prière du Christ montant vers son père (L’Ascension)

Widor Final (Symphonie VI in G)


Church music keynote speech

  • 20 June 2017

‘The Speech of Angels’ or ‘The Brandy of the Damned’? Music as Moral Landscape in Nineteenth-Century British Culture by Professor Rachel Cowgill.

Starting from contrasting statements of music’s worth by Thomas Carlyle (1852) and George Bernard Shaw (1903), the keynote speech of a Church Music Conference explores how music was used by Victorians to define the moral character of space and place in the urban environment. It also explores Victorian ideas of music as moral topography in and of itself – as a landscape to be traversed in the imagination – and the impact of such notions on the cultivation, presentation, and reception of musical performance in nineteenth-century Britain.


Midday Recital

  • 23 June 2017

Informal midday recital by the Centenary College Choir, USA.


Girls' Choir Summer Concert

  • 8 July 2017

The annual performance by the Girls' Choir which will include sacred and secular music dating from the 17th century to the present day. This will also be an opportunity to thank those girls who will be leaving the choir later in July.


Whitstable Choral Society Concert

  • 15 July 2017

Whitstable Choral Society concert.


Summer Party Night

  • 21 July 2017

Enjoy a glass of Pimm's and canapés in the beautiful Campanile Garden, overlooking the Cathedral, while being entertained by solo singer Sarah Banks. Followed by a sit-down 3-course dinner, with coffee and mints.

Afterwards, we are delighted to welcome local band The Soul Monkeys, who will entertain you throughout the evening. At 11pm there will be a disco until midnight.


Choir Bursary Fund Concert

  • 21 July 2017

Choir Bursary Fund Concert.


Organ Recital

  • 22 July 2017

Organ Recital by Robert Quinney, director of music at New College, Oxford. Prior to succeeding Edward Higginbottom in Oxford in 2014, Robert had been sub-organist at Westminster Abbey and director of music at Peterborough Cathedral.

The recital programme will be from Clavierübung III by J.S. Bach:

Prelude in E flat BWV 552i

Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit BWV 669

Christe, alle Welt Trost BWV 670

Kyrie, Gott Heiliger Geist BWV 671

Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr BWV 676 & 677

Duetto I BWV 802

Dies sind die heilgen zehn Gebot BWV 678 & 679

Vater unser im Himmelreich BWV 682

Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam BWV 684

Duetto II BWV 803

Jesus Christus, unser Heiland BWV 688

Fugue in E flat BWV 552ii


ICCF Concert

  • 26 July 2017

Concert to follow International Children's Choir Festival.


Canterbury Cathedral
Cathedral House
11 The Precincts




01227 762862


01227 865222

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.