Roman Magistrate On the Look Out for Saint Alban

Fri, 14 June 2013

Alban Pilgrimage Magistrate

Visitors to St Albans city centre came across an usual sight this week as a 12-foot tall puppet of a Roman Magistrate roamed the market and met the Mayor. The new puppet will play a major role in the Alban Pilgrimage 2013 which takes place on Saturday 22nd June - St Alban's Day.

This unique and dramatic event sees giant carnival puppets make their way through the heart of the city, retelling the remarkable and moving story of Britain’s first Christian martyr, Alban. The story includes a scene where the saint is brought before the Roman authorities, accused of harbouring a Christian priest. In this, Alban is interrogated by the Magistrate and confesses that he is now a Christian. As a result the Magistrate orders Alban to be tortured and then to be executed. On the day of the Pilgrimage, this puppet will appear on the balcony of the Old Town Hall, in front of the market stalls. Alban will be stood below receiving judgment.

Visitors to the city on St Alban’s Day are encouraged to line the streets and see the story unfold as the colourful procession makes its way from St Peter’s Church, through the city centre to the Cathedral. Angels, centurions, lions, roman chariots, roses and executioners all play their part in this vibrant event which involves hundreds of local children and adults.

Canon Kevin Walton said, “We are really pleased with the support we have had for our plans to take our annual celebration to the heart of the city. In this way, the whole community will be able to join together in honouring the person who gave the name to this place.

This year the Alban Pilgrimage falls on St Alban’s Day itself, and we hope that many will come from near and far to join in a public celebration and witness, not only to the patron saint of this city and this diocese, but also to the first Christian martyr of our nation. His values of courage, faith and justice continue to inspire.”

The Alban Pilgrimage starts at 11.00 at St Peter’s Church, St Albans. This year’s preachers are the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nick Holtam – 12.00 Eucharist, and the well-known Roman Catholic writer and speaker, Fr Timothy Radcliffe O.P. – 16.00 Evensong.

For the latest news on the Pilgrimage, follow Alban on Facebook or call 01727 890245.

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