Cross of St Augustine

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The Cross of St Augustine is an award of merit in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is awarded to members of the Anglican Communion who have made significant contributions to the life of the worldwide Communion, or to a particular autonomous church within Anglicanism.[1] It is also awarded to members of other traditions who have made a conspicuous contribution to ecumenism. It is the second highest international award for service within Anglicanism.


The Award was created in 1965 by Archbishop Michael Ramsey. There is no limit on the number of recipients, although the Cross is said to be awarded to "a small number of clergy and lay people each year".[2]

Grades of award[edit]

There are three grades of the Cross of St Augustine - bronze, silver, and gold.[3] In almost all cases, unless stated otherwise, the silver award is made. A small number of bronze awards have been made for conspicuous service to Anglicanism; a very small number of gold awards have been made for outstanding service.


The Chair of St Augustine (the archiepiscopal throne in Canterbury Cathedral, Kent)

The medal awarded to recipients bears an engraving of the Chair of St Augustine on its reverse. This stone chair in Canterbury Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury in his role as head of the Anglican Communion. Archbishops of Canterbury are enthroned twice: firstly as diocesan ordinary (and Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of England) in the archbishop's throne, by the Archdeacon of Canterbury; and secondly as leader of the worldwide church in the Chair of St Augustine by the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral which is followed by a blessing by the senior (by length of service) archbishop of the Anglican Communion. The stone chair is therefore of symbolic significance throughout Anglicanism. The obverse of the medal shows the Canterbury Cross. Medals are worn on a blue ribbon either around the neck (by clergy) as a collarette, or on the left breast (by laity).


The Cross of St Augustine is the second highest award within Anglicanism. The next highest award granted by Lambeth Palace is the Archbishop of Canterbury's Award for Outstanding Service to the Anglican Communion, which is awarded exceedingly rarely, and is the highest award within the Anglican Communion.[4]

Precedence of awards[edit]

  1. Archbishop of Canterbury's Award for Outstanding Service to the Anglican Communion
  2. Cross of St Augustine - Gold
  3. Cross of St Augustine - Silver
  4. Cross of St Augustine - Bronze
  5. Honorary Lambeth Doctorate
  6. Honorary Lambeth master's degree
  7. Honorary Lambeth bachelor's degree

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See this report on the Archbishop of Canterbury's website.
  2. ^ Quoted on the Archbishop's awards webpage.
  3. ^ See award details here on the Lambeth Palace website.
  4. ^ See details here.