On Saturday 22 June, St Albans Day, the spectacular Alban Pilgrimage will take to the streets of St Albans for a mixture of vibrant procession, spiritual pilgrimage and joyful worship, celebrating the identity of the city.

Part of a special programme of events celebrating St Albans’ Roman Heritage, the Pilgrimage commemorates the martyrdom of Alban, Britain’s first saint, a romano-british citizen, who died for his faith on the very spot that St Albans Cathedral now stands after giving shelter to a Christian priest fleeing persecution. This story of hope and justice will be re-enacted by 12ft tall carnival puppets along with hundreds of children and young people from the local community. All are encouraged to line the streets and to follow the procession as it makes its way to the Cathedral.

After the procession, a range of beautiful services will take place throughout the day. Everyone is welcome; whether to hear the stunning voices of the Cathedral Choirs, experience the peaceful chant of an Orthodox Service for the first time, or simply step into the building to find out more about one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in Britain.

This year’s guest preachers, David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral and Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of Church History at Oxford University, join the celebrations.

The Very Revd Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul's said: I'm delighted to be part of the St Alban celebrations this year, as the cathedral pilgrimage celebrates the ancient church links between our two cathedrals. It's so important to bear witness to the sacrificial love and faithfulness of Alban and other Christians, not only in the past, but in the present day as Christians in many places around the world suffer for their faith - a challenge to all of us to live out what we say we believe in, whatever the cost.

Diarmaid MacCulloch said: I'm delighted to join the Dean and the congregation of St Albans Cathedral in this happy commemoration, which brings so many people together to connect with the long heritage of Christianity in these islands, and to celebrate how full of surprises and diverse experiences the Christian past can be.

The Very Revd. Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans Cathedral said: “St Alban’s story of faith, courage and Christian witness remains at the core of all we do at the Cathedral and is an integral part of the identity of the city today. We look forward to welcoming both pilgrims and local people to this annual celebration of Britain’s first saint – particularly as we open the Cathedral’s new Welcome Centre and Exhibition area this summer.”

This year is particularly significant, as, in addition to the exciting developments at the Cathedral, the Pilgrimage forms part of the Roman Festival, a city wide celebration of St Albans’ Roman Heritage taking place between 21 – 30 June. Organised by St Albans Cathedral and funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the 10 day festival will feature events fit for the whole family – providing the opportunity to celebrate the city in which Britain’s first saint, Alban, lived with all the amazing things it has to offer today.

The Alban Pilgrimage starts at 11am at St Peter's Church, St Albans. For further details about the Alban Pilgrimage and the Roman Festival, please visit www.stalbanscathedral.org.