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"Non Angli Sed Angeli". Pope Gregory had a special affection for the English.

The Venerable Bede, in his Ecclesiastical History, recounts the origin of the

English mission:

“It is said that one day, when some merchants had lately arrived at Rome, many things were exposed for sale in the market place, and much people resorted thither to buy: Gregory himself went with the rest, and saw among other wares some boys put up for sale, of fair complexion, with pleasing countenances, and very beautiful hair.

When he beheld them, he asked, it is said, from what region or country they were brought, and was told, from the island of Britain, and that the inhabitants were like that in appearance.

He again inquired whether those islanders were Christians, and was informed that they were pagans. Then fetching a deep sigh from the bottom of his heart, “Alas! What pity,” said he, “that the author of darkness should own men of such fair countenances; and that with such grace of outward form, their minds should be void of inward grace.” He therefore again asked, what was the name of that nation, and was answered, that they were called Angles. “Right,” said he, “Not Angles, but Angels, for they have an angelic face, and it is meet that such should be co-heirs with the Angels in heaven.”

Augustine was prior of the monastery of St Andrew in Rome. In 596, at the instigation of Pope Gregory the Great, he was dispatched as the leader of a group of forty monks to re-evangelise the English Church. Augustine appears not to have been a particularly confident person, and in Gaul he wanted to turn back, but Pope Gregory's firm resolution held the group to their mission. The monks finally landed in Kent in the summer of 597 where they were well received by King Ethelbert whose wife, Bertha, was a Christian. Once established, Augustine returned temporarily to Gaul to receive ordination as a bishop. Pope Gregory would have preferred London to become the primatial see, but in the event Canterbury was chosen, and thus Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury. He died in 605.

✠ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,

world without end. Amen.


for those suffering in the pandemic,

for those who are at risk in their key-worker roles; for particular individuals for whom we have concern,

especially for those who do not know her Son.

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,

blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death.


…and may there be peace within me….

The Universal Prayer for Peace - Satish Kumar

Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe, Peace, Peace, Peace….. (a time for silent prayer)

“God, you are my God, for you I long,

My soul is thirsting for you,

My flesh is longing for you,

I am like a land that is parched, weary and waterless.”

Psalm 63:1

“ When the king, among the rest, believed and was baptized, attracted by the pure life of these holy men and their gracious promises, the truth of which they established by many miracles, greater numbers began daily to flock together to hear the Word, and, forsaking their heathen rites, to have fellowship, through faith, in the unity of Christ's Holy Church.

It is told that the king, while he rejoiced at their conversion and their faith, yet compelled none to embrace Christianity, but only showed more affection to the believers, as to his fellow citizens in the kingdom of Heaven. For he had learned from those who had instructed him and guided him to salvation, that the service of Christ ought to be voluntary, not by compulsion. Nor was it long before he gave his teachers a settled residence suited to their degree in his metropolis of Canterbury, with such possessions of divers sorts as were necessary for them.”

The Venerable Bede, A History of the English Church and People – grateful to The Church Union & The Society for this extract from the excellent “Thy Kingdom Come” collection, “Praying at Home from Ascension to Pentecost”


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.


Father and Mother of us all,

You are love through and through, and we bless You.

Let Your new world come; let what You long for be always done,

In everyone, everywhere – and in us.

Be near enough to reach our need every day.

Be gentle enough to forgive us the hurt we have done to You

As we are gentle and forgive in our turn.

Never let us fall, but draw us away from evil and the dark.

For we know the world that is coming is Yours, all Yours,

In richness and beauty and splendour. Amen. (Simon Bailey)

A prayer for the Church in England

and for an increase in faith.

Heavenly Father, you have entrusted to us

the very mission of your Son.

Christ has no body on earth but ours. He has no hands but ours to raise up the fallen, no feet but ours to seek out the lost. He has no eyes but ours to see the silent tears of the suffering: no ears but ours to listen to the lonely. He has no tongue but ours to speak a word of comfort to the sad: no heart but ours to love the unloved.

Father, send us the Holy Spirit to be your presence

in the place of your choosing. Saint Teresa of Avila

Almighty God, whose servant Gregory sent Augustine

to be an apostle to the English people: grant that as he laboured in the Spirit to preach Christ's gospel in this land, so all who hear the good news may strive to make your truth known in all the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord; and may the souls of the faithful departed,

through the mercy of God, ✠ rest in peace and rise in glory.

St.Augustine's College, Canterbury

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