St Albans Cathedral
St Albans Cathedral
Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban
The Cathedral and Abbey Church of Saint Alban is the seat of the Bishop of St Albans and serves the Diocese of St Albans in the counties of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, the Borough of Luton and the London Borough of Barnet. The Cathedral is also a parish church with a large and active congregation.
The cathedral is a centre of worship and mission with a world renowned musical tradition and a highly regarded Education Centre. Ecumenical links are strong with honorary ecumenical chaplains from the Roman Catholic, Free Church, Lutheran and Russian Orthodox traditions. Regular services are conducted in the cathedral by the ecumenical chaplains who take full part in the life of the place.
The cathedral is built on what is believed to be the site of the martyrdom of St Alban. The hill upon which it stands overlooks the valley of the river Ver, beyond which lie the buried ruins of the Roman city of Verulamium.
It is recorded that St Germanus of Auxerre visited the shrine of St Alban in 429. Early in the 8th century, Bede wrote of the 'beautiful Church worthy of all Alban's martyrdom where miracles of healing took place.' The monastic structure of this church was re-ordered by King Offa of Mercia in 793 and a new order and discipline introduced by St Oswald in the 960s. The availability of huge amounts of building material from the ruins of nearby Roman Verulamium was put to good use in the Norman era, from which time many of the features of the building date.
St Alban’s Shrine, demolished at the Dissolution of the Monasteries, was restored in 1993, when it was rededicated in the presence of HM The Queen Mother. The shrine is a site of national pilgrimage and is used as a place of prayer and meditation by visitors every day.
Heritage site, Sacred space
The Cathedral is open from 0800 to 1745 all year round. (We close at 1300 on Christmas Day)
Please enter by the West Door.
The Information Desk is open from 10:30 - 16:30 Monday to Saturday. Telephone +44(0)1727 860780. Occasionally events taking place in the cathedral might make it necessary restrict access to parts of the building. Before travelling to visit the Cathedral you are advised to telephone to check the current situation.
Guided Tours are offered by the Honorary Guides at 1130 and 1430 on Weekdays, 1130 and 1400 on Saturdays and 1430 on Sundays. Tours for visiting adult parties can be booked through the Cathedral Office +44 (0) 1727 860780.
Leaders of school parties should contact the Cathedral Education Centre +44 (0) 1727 890212.
There are facilities for disabled visitors who should enter by the east end Slype door. There is a Touch and Hearing centre and a braille guide plan. The public address system has an inductive loop facility and hearing aids should be tuned to 'T'.
St Albans Bach Choir Christmas Carols
- 14 December 2013 3-4pm
15.00 Family Carol Concert – pre-concert entertainment for children from 14.15
19.00 Carol Concert with Seasonal Readings
Two concerts of Christmas music and readings performed by the St Albans Bach Choir and organist Andrew Parnell.
Conductor: Andrew Lucas
Tickets: Family Concert – Adults £5, Children £1 if seat needed
Carol Concert – Adults £10, Students & Disabled £5
Tickets only available on entry.
- Family friendly
Family Carol Concert tickets:
Adults £5, Children £1 (if seat needed) Tickets only available on entry
Carols on the Hour
- 21 December 2013 11am-4pm
Take a break from the Christmas Shopping and enjoy a very special Cathedral event. Every service lasts 30 minutes, and is led by the Cathedral Clergy and one of our Cathedral Choirs. No tickets required and admission is free. Following the service, you are welcome to explore the rest of the Cathedral in your own time, candles can be lit at the Shrine, the Lady Chapel and in the South Transept. We also have some wonderful gifts on offer in the our shop and delicious lunches, snacks and a wide selection of hot and cold drinks served in the Abbot's Kitchen.
- Family friendly
- Especially for children
Christmas Eve Crib Service
- 24 December 2013 3-4pm
A very popular and lively service lasting no more than an hour, and intended mainly for children and young families. Children visit the crib in the Cathedral and join in singing carols. Festive and fun, it will certainly get your little ones in the spirit of the season while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas.
St Albans Abbey Maths Trail
In a building like St Albans Cathedral there is endless scope for estimating, comparing, measuring. Using everything from trundle wheels to helium balloons, from electronic laser devices to hands and arms of the human body, the children let few bits of the building escape. And then there is the world of shape and pattern to attend to…
How to obtain
Please telephone the Education Centre on 01727 890212 to negotiate a date for your visit. You need to allow a full one and a half hours for each session booked.
Please download our online booking form from www.stalbanscathedral.org.uk/education-centre/booking.php, which you can submit online, fax or post back to us.