Excavations in 1993 at Colchester House (PEP89), near the Tower of London, revealed a large aisled building, built after AD350. Although only a small part of the building was excavated, it was suggested that the layout can be compared with the 4th-century Cathedral of St Tecla in Milan.
However, it can not be identified with any certainty as a cathedral and could equally have been a public granary or building for the collection of taxes, although its position on the main east-west road may indicate its importance in late Roman London.
In Britain, much of the scant evidence for early Christianity comes through archaeology but artifacts with Christian associations are rare from London. The only surviving evidence in the City of London itself is a small pewter bowl from Copthall Court, near the Walbrook stream. The Chi-Rho symbol (the first two Greek letters of the name of Christ) is scratched on the base.
There are also a number of late Roman lead ingots found in the Thames near Battersea Bridge. They are stamped with the Chi-Rho symbol and the motto ‘Spes in deo’, or ‘hope in God’. The significance of the stamps is uncertain but it may be that the metal ingots, destined for London, were lost overboard in the Thames at a time when London was the seat of the provincial Treasury and after Christianity had become the official religion.
At the end of the Roman period when the army were no longer responsible for Britain’s defence, the Roman Church continued to be part of the Roman world for the first half of the 5th century. The Church seemed better able to survive than the army. Orthodoxy had its champions in Britain and complaints about Pelagianism (which opposed the doctrines of St Augustine) and a particular British bishop named Agricola were sent to Pope Celestine.
Germanus, bishop of Auxerre was sent to Britain in AD429 and again in about 448 to rout the heretics and to intervene against the spiritual dangers of heresy. It is quite likely, on his first documented visit, that he passed through London en route to the shrine of St Alban at Verulamium. His visit demonstrates the survival of an educated Romano-British aristocracy and both these visits imply the presence of an organised Christian community in Britain continuing into the mid 5th century and later.