So Augustine was probably feeling pretty happy with himself. He had gone to the edge of the world and now the Church had a foothold of Christianity out there, and the King was openly Christian as well. All in all, this was a pretty good get for the Church and it had “promotion” written all over it.
Was it hard? Probably. I mean, we aren’t told who his nearly 40 missionaries were, nor are we told what happened to them or even what the Pope thought of them. But we can surmise that some of them at least had a rough time of it based upon what Bede had to say about them demonstrating that they were willing to suffer and die for their faith. So you might be wondering if they were rewarded or if Augustine took all the glory while they were left muttering about what a prima-donna he was.. Well, we have no idea. But, at least based on what Bede is telling us, Augustine is the one who got the spotlight.
So Bede tells us that sometime before 601, Augustine left Kent and traveled to Arles… a much more staunchly Christian seat of power. What we are are not told is whether his poor, potentially scarred and bruised missionaries also came along. But we do know that while he was there Augustine received his orders from Pope Gregory.
Augustine would become an Archbishop. Not an Archbishop of Canterbury… Nope. Augustine would be the Archbishop of the English. In fact, Canterbury wasn’t even going to be the seat of power, but rather London (the old Roman trading town that used to be known as Londinium) would be the See of England.
Well, that was a bit awkward and it makes me wonder if the Pope knew of the political realities on the ground because London was held by Sledd, king of the East Saxons. And he was pagan.