65 of 66 | The City of ST ALBANS | Closed

THIS WAS ST ALBANS CLOSED | (See my Full 66 City Tour List by Clicking HERE)


I had let myself sleep today. No alarm. Even so I was awake by 07:00am and went down to make the coffee for Bridget. We had our morning prayers together for the first time in a good few weeks. Nice.

I was downstairs pounding the keys at 7:30am and Bridget blew me a kiss as she went out to work around 8:10am.

I emailed the communications officer of Westminster Abbey telling him what I had been doing and asking him if I could get a ticket for Wednesdays celebrations and also get some interviews to boot. I hoped there would be a very positive response to both.

I contacted St Albans civic centre to see if I could get an interview with the mayor…however, the Mayor was having a surgical procedure done today.

  • I contact the university and left a message. No one got back to me.
  • I contacted St Albans Cathedral, containing the shrine of Saint Alban recognised to be the first Christian Martyr in Britain. They were getting ready for a large event and no one was available to meet with me. Parking was not possible. Sigh.
  • I contacted five other city centre churches, but it was a Monday, Pastors were having their day off, and quite frankly, no one was interested. I looked outside at the very dour and very grey day it was. I could understand why, it was a day to stay under the duvet. Unfortunately I couldn’t.
  • I rang the Christian bookshop and arranged to pop in and say hi. Maybe they could help.

It was a long and miserable wet drive to St Albans. I arrived around lunch time, maybe 12:30pm and got my bag and headed off to look for a place to do some naked Bungee Jumping. The day was dark. The Market place was too noisy and the clock tower area was virtually empty, save at lunch time when some blazer wearing teenagers were stuffing their gobbs with chips. Neither place seemed to be conducive to a message from the book of Jude.

I went round to the Christian book shop

It was good to see Sorted Magazine on the shelves of the Bookshop. Unfortunately Guy could not recommend any churches today and had not had time to access his database for me.

My goodness. It seemed as though At Albans was totally closed to me today. I could not find a Nero’s in St Albans (not a good sign) so settled for a Starbucks and got a Chai Latte lunch and tried to pray and regroup my thoughts and directions. The Wi Fi was not working. Sigh. However my 3G iPad did contain some good news with a a reply from the Abbey which said that though they could not give me any interviews, they did have a ticket I could have! Wehey! I was going to Westminster Abbey and the celebrations of the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible. Result!

I know the Cathedral could not accommodate me but I thought I would get on down there anyways and pray some more, take a ‘looksee’ and see what to do. It was still dull and cold, but Ann the guide was warm and welcoming. I am afraid the recording is a little dark, but I think you will find Ann very interesting. She did her Cathedral proud.

Now make no mistake about it, though St Albans bones have long since gone, the shrine left to there is still venerated. Yes, though the Puritans and the reformers did quite a good job in smashing the shrine all to pieces, they didn’t do a good enough job as the remains were eventually  found and re-assembled and today’s technology has allowed a full reconstruction of the shrine.

It was of course, and still it but less so, a great money making exercise for the monks. The ignorant and superstitious people of the day, tied into dead works and indulgences, desperate for some kind f miraculous healing, would have journeyed anywhere and paid money to get what they craved from God. There is still a lot of money to be made in the religious market place  and the folks totting the same old snake oil and shrines around today are the slick fast talking Evangelical charismatic tele-Evangelist’s seen regularly on our TV screens who are still taking money off superstitious mugs. Oh, by the way, I do count myself as an Evangelical charismatic doing the work on an Evangelist  🙂

I wandered back into town, the light was failing, the market place was still too noisy. I grabbed a quick cup of tea, waiting to see if God would open up something in St Albans. He didn’t. So, I paid my money to the parking metre and then headed on back to Sevenoaks where I arrived a couple of hours later. St Albans was a seeming waste of time, the most closed city I had been to yet.

I ate and chilled out with Bridget and fell asleep alongside her two hours before we went to bed.

Tomorrow was my last day on the road preaching and I had invited whoever could come to the City of Westminster and speakers corner in Hyde Park. I hoped there would be a good crowd. Certainly, Mark who had been at my first preach in the City of London was hoping to be there for my least preach and take me for something to eat thereafter. I was looking forward to that. Bring it on!

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About vrfarrell

Biblical activist
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