St Albans Cathedral reimagines the 2020 Alban Pilgrimage

St Albans Cathedral is calling for all to join in the celebrations of Saint Alban Britains first Sa

St Albans Cathedral is calling for all to join in the celebrations of Saint Alban Britains first Saint. Picture: Richard Gillin - Credit: Archant

St Albans Cathedral is calling for all to join in the celebrations of Alban – Britain’s first Saint – which will be live streamed on June 21.

A special Eucharist from the Shrine of St Alban, will be streamed on YouTube, and led by the Bishop of St Albans.

It will include the Revd Richard Coles, parish priest, broadcaster and former Communard, with readings from St Albans MP Daisy Cooper, and contributions from other churches throughout the world.

Revd Richard Coles said: “St Alban was my point of entry to faith, in the church dedicated to him at Holborn in London, so I am delighted and honoured to be asked to preach his pilgrimage in the place, digitally reconfigured, where he laid down his life, so the good news could bring new life to all who heard it.”

The Cathedral is also working in partnership with the local authority to mark this ‘Alban weekend’, including a video with a demonstration of how to make and display red roses, symbolising Alban’s martyrdom, and self-guided pilgrim walks and trails available on the Cathedral website.

Now that a date has been given for the opening of places of worship for private prayer, the Cathedral looks forward to welcoming visitors and pilgrims, as they re-engage once more with the city’s spiritual home.

In particular, the 12ft puppets from the yearly procession will be displayed, along with a special exhibition that’s been created by The Friends of St Albans Cathedral during lockdown.

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Canon Chancellor, The Revd Dr Kevin Walton, said: “While we cannot hold our wonderful Alban Pilgrimage in the usual way this year, through live streaming our service and other activities, we will be able to reach out more widely across the country and indeed the world, to celebrate the significance of St Alban.

“We hope all people, near and far, will join in this celebration of our city’s patron, and of Britain’s First Saint.”

Councillor Mandy McNeil said: “The annual St Albans Pilgrimage is one of our district’s most important events, with people travelling from around the world to remember and honour Britain’s First Saint.

“It is thanks to the Cathedral’s inspired reimagining of the Pilgrimage online, in the face of social distancing, which led to St Albans BID proposal of a virtual St Albans Street Festival, so residents and virtual visitors from around the world can still join in the celebrations.”

The Alban Pilgrimage Eucharist will be live streamed on YouTube at 10am -