The Archbishop of Canterbury will lead the St Albans Festival Pilgrimage on 24 June.
See the diocesan press release:
Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will make a special pilgrimage to St Albans to celebrate the life and death of Britain’s first martyr on June 24.
“We are delighted to welcome the Archbishop to St Albans” said the Very Revd Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans. “The pilgrimage is a very special re-enactment of the trial and execution of Alban using larger than life puppets. It will be a colourful, spectacular and wonderful thanksgiving for Alban.”
Dr John adds, “The pilgrimage has been growing in size in recent years and this year the Archbishop will even be able to see re-enactments of chariot racing and lion taming.”
Pilgrims from all over the UK and countries including Germany and Italy will congregate at the site of Alban’s trial in Roman Verulamium, not far from the Cathedral. They will set off on foot following the giant puppets of Alban, the persecuted priest to whom he gave shelter. Pilgrims will be accompanied by hundreds of red roses, a symbol of Alban, as they walk up the hill to the Cathedral.
Services to be held in the morning and the afternoon will provide the opportunity for prayerful contemplation of Alban’s sacrifice in which he allowed the priest he was protecting to flee his Roman persecutors by exchanging clothes with him. After a flogging, a trial and sentence of death, Alban continued to declare his Christian faith and was executed on the site of the Cathedral that bears his name.
Over 200 local children will be involved in the preparations for the event helping to create the chariots, the puppets and ornate decorations for the inside of the Cathedral.
For more details see the cathedral website.