Like many across the district, I attended a wonderful church service over the Easter weekend, in fact I was fortunate enough to attend three.
Canterbury, along with Herne Bay, Whitstable and the villages is home to numerous churches of various Christian denominations and of course, our stunning cathedral.
At the 3pm Good Friday mass at The St Thomas of Canterbury Roman Catholic Church in Burgate, any one of the 450 congregation who turned up less than five minutes before the start had to stand for the beautiful hour-and-a-half service, and many did.
The mass also included the chance for worshipers to kneel before the crucifix and kiss the feet of The Christ, as that is the time he was nailed to the cross.
On Sunday the 11am mass at the cathedral was packed too, with not far short of a thousand people in the pews who had the privilege of hearing the awe-inspiring choir who wonderfully use the powerful acoustics of the majestic building.
The sermon from the Archbishop of Canterbury as so often is the case, held the attention of all those in attendance as he delivered his Easter message.
Whilst the church in Europe faces various challenges, which are also felt on a local level in the district, Christianity’s exponential growth on a global basis from 600 million in 1910 to 2.19 billion in 2010 is set to continue.
The forecast from the Pew Research Centre states it will be at almost 3 billion in 2050.
The numbers alone are not an accurate indication of a religion’s or organisation’s health – either globally or locally.
But it is evident from the Easter Weekend that Canterbury’s inextricable relationship with Christianity, particularly as we have the Archbishop, who is primate to the Global Anglican community of 85 million people, is still going strong more than 2000 years after Jesus Christ died.
Cllr Steve Williams grew up in Canterbury and attended St Anselm’s Roman Catholic School. He represents Barton ward for the Conservative Party and works for an investment firm in the City of London.