In the year 596, Pope Gregory sent Augustine to England from Rome to spread the word of Christianity. The Romans no longer ruled Europe and much of the north was run over with robbers and barbarians. Augustine and his monks landed in Kent, England. They feared what the pagan king might do to them.
But they were surprised. King Ethelbert rode out to welcome them. He had refused to meet them indoors because his own pagan priests warned the king that these Romans might practice magic on him. King Ethelbert listened to the monks and Augustine to hear what they had to say. He gave them permission to enter his capital city, Canterbury and to talk to people about Jesus.
Another surprise awaited Augustine. The king’s wife, Queen Bertha was already a Christian. She was originally from France and had become a Christian before marrying Ethelbert. He had allowed her to have a small Christian church in Canterbury. That became Augustine’s first base for his mission. Many of the Kent people became Christians, including King Ethelbert. Eventually the king commissioned the Canterbury Cathedral.