ITV film at St Martin’s for women’s history month

First published on: 15th March 2024

On Tuesday 5 March, St Martin’s Church in Canterbury had a visit from ITV Meridian as part of its coverage for women’s history month.

An UNESCO world heritage site, St Martin’s is the oldest parish church in the English-speaking world that is still used for regular worship. Last year, 12,000 visitors from 61 countries visited the church.

It was given by King Ethelbert as a gift to his Christian wife Bertha to be used as a private chapel in the 6th century. Bertha is said to have played a key role in welcoming St Augustine to Canterbury, as well as converting her husband Ethelbert to Christianity.

It was the impact that Bertha had on Christianity in England and her links to St Martin’s that caught the eye of ITV who broadcast a piece about it on Wednesday 6 March for their evening news and ITVX.

Three women from St Martin’s also featured in the news item.

Assistant Curate at St Martin’s, Rev Charlotte Sleigh, talking to ITV said: “It’s so special to be standing here and realise that you’re standing in this place of history. You’re part of this continuous tapestry of history of the worship of God within England and the spreading of the good news. It’s just an incredible place to be.”

Speaking to the reporter with the backdrop of the church, churchwarden Christine Robertson said: “You think from 580 till now, all the prayer that’s happened in that church, all the things that they have seen. It absolutely gives an atmosphere that really you have to come to appreciate. It’s almost impossible to describe.”

Reacting to the coverage of St Martin’s on ITV, Tourism Manager Jessica Morris said: “It’s fantastic to see the influence women have had on the history of St Martin’s showcased on TV. Within a day of the broadcast, we had people coming in to see the wonderful history of this place having watched it on their TV. We hope this is just the start of our work in bringing the story behind St Martin’s to the forefront of people’s minds.”

If you have news to share about your church in our diocese, please email the Media and Engagement team.

Page last updated: Friday 15th March 2024 3:30 PM
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