St Albans Cathedral to spend £390,000 telling the story of St Alban (From St Albans & Harpenden Review)
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St Albans Cathedral to spend £390,000 telling the story of St Alban
St Albans Cathedral has received a £390,000 grant to help fund a major project, which will tell the story of the abbey’s rich heritage spanning over 1,700 years.
The project called, ‘Alban, Britain’s First Saint: Telling the Whole Story’ will reveal the unique place in British history of Alban and St Albans Cathedral.
The cash comes from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help the cathedral develop its plans in detail over the next two years before applying for a full grant in 2016.
The Very Revd Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans Cathedral said: "‘We feel strongly that far too few people realise the importance of St Alban as our first British saint and of St Albans Cathedral as our oldest place of Christian worship.
"The HLF grant will help us put this right. It will enable us to present Alban’s story and the amazingly rich heritage of the Cathedral much more effectively.
"We are extremely grateful to HLF and all who have supported this project and to God. Deo gratias."
The project will see the restoration of the medieval shrine of Amphibalus, the design and implementation of a new way of telling the Alban story within the Cathedral. Plans include the recreation of a medieval scriptorium and the laser projection of 12th century wall paintings.
The Cathedral’s Learning Department, including its Education Centre and Adult Learning Centre will also relocate to the upper floors of the Chapter House creating fit- for -purpose learning spaces for children and adults. A new welcome centre will also be developed to provide an intuitive entrance for the Cathedral and improved visitor facilities.
St Albans Cathedral sits at the heart of the city, at the historical crossover between Roman Verulamium and Medieval St Albans and between pagan and Christian Britain. Standing on the site of the execution and burial of Alban, Britain’s first Christian martyr, it became the country’s first Christian shrine and pilgrimage destination, 200 years before St Augustine arrived in Canterbury.
This makes it the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in the country. Today it enjoys one of the largest regular Sunday congregations of any British Cathedral and welcomes 160,000 visitors a year.
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