Security has been increased following the murder of Fr Jacques Hamel
Police with guns are patrolling Canterbury Cathedral amid fears about terror attacks.
The extra security comes after a series of jihadist attacks across Europe, including the murder of Fr Jacques Hamel.
Essex and Kent Police have ordered armed officers to guard potential terrorist targets, including the cathedral, major shopping centres, the port of Dover and London Southend Airport.
Photos have emerged of police officers carrying Heckler and Koch G36 assault rifles, Glock 17 semi-auto 9mm pistols and Tasers outside the cathedral.
A spokesman for Canterbury Cathedral said: “Having grown used to armed police patrols in our rail stations, airports and in the capital cities we should not be surprised that Kent Police has judged the same provision for the security of people needs to be made at significant sites in their own area.
“It is a sadness to us all that such a response is necessary but the police has made this decision with the safety of the public in mind."
In July, the Home Office also announced £2.4 million of funding to bolster security in places of worship and churches were advised to review their security measures.
Canterbury Cathedral, consecrated in the 11th century, is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It receives a million visitors a year.