From the December, 2000 issue of Touchstone

The Growing Company of Martyrs by David Douglas

Feature

The Growing Company of Martyrs

Reflections from Canterbury Cathedral’s East Chapel

The day is overcast. Rain has just passed over Canterbury. I have come from London by an easy, non-penitential train journey of 90 minutes; pilgrims in Chaucer’s era would have taken weeks to walk the distance.

I follow the bend of the city wall, past gardens of red-flowering horse chestnut trees, until the cathedral’s bell tower comes into view. For a moment I experience what I felt so briefly on the train: a kindred sense of identity, albeit undeserved, with footsore pilgrims as they approached Canterbury’s spires.. . .


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