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!