Back to the beginning

The story of Alban is a remarkable one. It not only takes us back to the beginning of the Christian faith in Britain and to a time when religious freedom was forbidden, but it is also an astonishing account of standing up for what you believe in.

Inspired

Alban lived in the early third century in the Roman city of Verulamium, just down the hill from where the Cathedral stands today. One day he gave shelter to a stranger fleeing from persecution. This stranger was a Christian priest, now known as Amphibalus. While sheltering the priest, Alban was inspired by how important faith was to the priest and asked to be taught more about Christianity.

Captured

It was not long until the Roman authorities caught up with Amphibalus. However, Alban’s new-found faith would not allow him to let the authorities arrest the priest. Instead, Alban exchanged clothes with Amphibalus and was arrested, allowing the priest to escape.

I am called Alban and I worship and adore the true and living God

Alban refused to renounce his beliefs and the magistrate ordered that he should receive the punishment intended for the escaped priest. Upon this ruling, Alban was led out of Verulamium and up the hillside where he was beheaded.

Continued

Alban is honoured as Britain’s first saint, and his grave on this hillside quickly became a place of pilgrimage. This story of an ordinary man, doing an extraordinary thing has endured and continues to inspire to this day.