On Saturday 13th May 2017, the Diocese rekindled a long-absent tradition and held a Diocesan Pilgrimage to St Albans, outside of London. St Albans is the site of the martyrdom of St Alban the Protomartyr of Great Britain, in many ways a patron of all Orthodox Christianity in the British Isles. There, the large reliquary of St Alban contains his precious relics, which are normally not accessible for veneration; but through kind arrangement with the Cathedral Canon, the relics were brought out so that our pilgrims could venerate them directly.
A Divine Liturgy was served in the Lady Chapel of St Albans Cathedral, after which a luncheon was held outside, and then a moleben before the relics of St Alban, with a brief talk by Bishop Irenei on the importance of pilgrimage, and the life of St Alban in particular. The faithful were doubly blessed, not only to pray before St Alban's precious relics, but also to do so in the presence of the myrrh-streaming 'Hawaiian icon' of the Theotokos which was also in the UK at the time.
Far more people attended this initial Diocesan Pilgrimage than had been foreseen, and as a result it was determined at a Clergy Convocation that took place a few days later, that it should be an annual event in the life of the Diocese. Please watch this space for announcements of future dates.
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