Thousands Join 2017 Alban Pilgrimage
(photos by Arun Kataria, Patricia Kataria, Richard Gillin)
Thousands of people took to the streets of St Albans on Saturday to join the Alban Pilgrimage procession, celebrating Britain’s first saint, Alban. The spectacular event attracted all ages as giant puppets retold Alban’s dramatic story.
The event engaged the local community with hundreds of local children involved in the procession dressed as Roman soldiers, lions, roses and stained glass windows and thousands of people gathered as the procession passed by.
The Pilgrimage was joined this year by guest preacher the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek who, in 2015, became the first female diocesan Bishop in the Church of England and the first female Bishop in the House of Lords. She preached at the Festival Eucharist service which took place immediately after the Pilgrimage procession ended.
Preaching at Evensong was the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, Dean of Oxford. Professor Percy said “I was very touched to be invited to take part in the Festival on Saturday, and it was an honour and a privilege to be invited to preach.”
Services at the Cathedral were full to capacity and visitors enjoyed a vibrant atmosphere throughout the day. Canon Kevin Walton said “At a time when so much of our news is bringing fear and concern, the Alban Pilgrimage was a wonderful celebration, bringing together the local community and visitors from all over the country and overseas.”