Today, the celebrations returned to the streets of St Albans, as the Alban Pilgrimage processed through the city centre for the first time since 2019. The sun was shining and the crowds came out in their thousands to watch the story of Alban, Britain’s first saint, being re-enacted by 12ft puppets.

Canon Kevin Walton said, “The Alban Pilgrimage has become such a key community event, so it was a joy to be able to celebrate it once again at the heart of the city centre with all its drama and colour. In this Refugee Week, we also celebrate St Alban’s welcome to a stranger sheltering from persecution, a story as relevant today as it was back then and which gives us every reason to celebrate our city’s patron and Britain’s first saint.’

After the procession hundreds of people attended the Festival Eucharist with guest preacher Dr Paula Gooder, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral.

A Festival Solemn Evensong followed with Reverend Dr Inderjit Bhogal OBE, preaching on the City of Sanctuary movement. Pilgrims then processed to the Shrine of St Alban to lay red roses in a mark of devotion.

Save the date! Saturday 24 June 2023.