Once a year,  on the feast of St Alban, the city of St Albans takes a central place on the national stage. Our wonderful pageant depicting the trial and execution of St Alban, with its ten-foot high puppets and dozen of brilliantly costumed participants,  is an event unique to our city. I mean, who else has giant eyeballs on poles?

This year’s St Albans festival will be extra special because it will coincide with the opening of the wonderful Heritage Centre at the Abbey. The procession on the Saturday will be part of a week long Roman Festival to celebrate.

My theatre group are privileged to be presenting our new play about St Alban in the Roman Theatre of Verulamium on the Friday night (21st June)  before St Albans day and twice on the Saturday (22nd June).  (More details at  romantheatre.org.uk/)

Alban, when he was alive, might have watched a play in the very space we are playing out his death. He might have touched the same flints we are touching and looked up at the same skies. That’s almost like being in the Holy Land and walking in the footsteps of Jesus on the shores of Lake Galilee.

Places that connect us directly with our history are vital to our national well-being. We are so very fortunate in St Albans to be so close to a special piece of British history, the shrine of our national saint, with an unbroken heritage going straight back to the Romans and beyond.