Tuesday, July 8, 2008

First stop--St Albans

Our first stop in England will be the town of St Albans located about 50 miles north of London. The Dean there is the Vy Rev.Jeffrey John whom I have known since I studied in Oxford back in the 1970's. Jeffrey has very graciously invited me to preach at Sunday Evensong.

St Alban's is a wonderful cathedral, much loved and supported by the local town. Over a thousand people attend on a given Sunday morning. Nothing moribund about the Church of England here!

You may remember the story of St Alban, the first English martyr who was executed in the 3rd Century on this site for giving refuge to a Christian fleeing from Roman persecution. In the middle ages, St Albans became a noted pilgrimage destination and site of a large and influencial Benedictine monastery. In the last century, some of St Alban's bones which had been scattered at the the time of the reformation in the 16th century, were rediscovered and returned to a shrine in the cathedral.

St Alban is one of the patron saints of England. We have two churches named after him in Arizona, in Tucson and in Wickenburg.

This will be a good place to begin my own Lambeth pilgrimage!


Pondering the Word said...

Safe travels and enjoy the preaching at St. Alban's...looking forward to reading more. (Terri at St. Francis)

Pat in Phoenix said...

Have a safe and joyful trip to Lambeth. Thank you for setting up a way to communicate with us so we can know more about your experiences as they are happening. I pray (and pray and pray) that Lambeth will be unifying experience for all provinces of the Anglican Communion. And even that the Holy Spirit may move our Southern Cone bretheren to participate and hear the messages of others: that there is room for all in the broad and generous Anglican tent. God's speed to you and Laura! God's peace be with us all.

eric said...

Our prayers are with you, Bishop!

That is so cool -- it's really being surrounded by living history!

Jenni said...

Greetings from Belize, Bishop Smith! I was baptised and confirmed in the glorious Cathedral Of St.Alban, by Bishop Basil, some 60 years ago...what a wonderful place...Our Anglican community here in Belize also has close ties to St.Alban's. We wish you well at the conference and pray for unity.