shrine to England's first Christian martyr finished fourth in the
poll that attracted thousands of votes on the BBC's Website and
Dean of St Albans, the Very Revd Christopher Lewis said: "We are
delighted that the Shrine has come in such a high position. It is
a wonderful centre of pilgrimage and a special spiritual place for
so many people."
Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Christopher Herbert, said: "The
result underlines the Shrine's place as an historic site of pilgrimage
for people from across the UK and overseas."
St Albans cathedral is built on what is believed to be the site
where Alban was executed.
shrine of St Alban
is recorded that St Germanus of Auxerre visited the site as early
as 429 and the shrine is still a site of national pilgrimage, used
as a place of prayer and meditation by visitors every day.
many of England's shrines, it was demolished during the dissolution
of the monasteries. The Purbeck marble pedestal was relocated in
various locations in the Abbey in more than 2000 fragments.
altar and iron-work around the shrine, designed by Mr George Pace,
a former Cathedral Architect, were dedicated in 1967 as memorial
of the shrine was completed in 1993 and rededicated in the presence
of HM The Queen Mother in the same year.
is general delight that the shrine has made the short list:
Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Christopher Herbert:
absolutely delighted at this news. The shrine is a site of national
and international pilgrimage, set in a beautiful Abbey at the heart
of a living, worshipping community. The shrine is a place of prayer
and meditation used by numerous visitors every day and justly deserves
to be on the shortlist of the nation's most spiritual places."
Dean of St Albans, the Very Revd Christopher Lewis:
is wonderful news and underlines the special place that Saint Alban,
as England's first Christian martyr, holds in the nation's spiritual
heritage. The Shrine attracts many thousands of pilgrims each year,
and the story of Alban's courage and sacrifice has maintained its
powerful appeal through the centuries."
are a selection of comments from just a few people who nominated
the shrine of St Albans:
Rose: Still visited and part of a lively christian community.
Bates: A distinct feeling of continuity back through 1700 years
and all the vicicitudes of the wonderful building which surrounds
the shrine to the simple story of a brave young man who died for
his new-found faith.
Forrester: People have been coming here for over 1700 years
to honour Alban. The chapel is thus a holy place of pilgrimage.
The shrine pedestal is a rare example of a medieval stone shrine,
now beutifully completed with a red cover.
Beecroft: For more than 1700 years, through many vicissitudes
and changes of fortune, pilgrims have been coming here to pray at
a site commemorating Britain's first martyr, a man who gave himself
up for a stranger and an outcast. It never fails to move me.
Teare: It is peaceful. You are closer to yourself and to your
God. There is no rush there is no hurry. You are guided if you wish
in your prayers. You can light a candle as well.
used with the kind permission of The Fraternity of The Friends of
St Albans Abbey.
story of St Alban
Alban lived in the Roman city of Verulamium
during the 3rd century. He was a worshipper of Roman gods including
the emperor, but gave shelter to a Christian priest fleeing from
by the priest's prayer he became a Christian.
the authorities discovered the priest's hiding place Alban exchanged
clothes with him. The priest escaped but Alban was taken before
a judge, who ordered that if he had indeed become a Christian, Alban
should receive the punishment due to the priest.
declared his Christian faith, saying "I worship and adore the true
and living God, who created all things."
flogging he refused to renounce Christianity and was sentenced to
death. He was brought out of the town, across the river and up a
hill to the site of execution where his head was cut off.
is a legend that on the hill-top a spring of water miraculously
appeared to give the martyr a drink. It is also said that the original
executioner refused to carry out the deed, and that after his replacement
had killed Alban the executioners' eyes dropped out.
Dappled Garden, Harpenden
a quiet place in Hertfordshire. Find out all about it and listen
to Jo in the garden.
Peace Pagoda, Willen
the Buddhist Temple and peace pagoda in Willen to see if Milton
Keynes could have a spiritual side.
Corner, Ayot St Lawrence
how she is always inspired by visiting the former home of a