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BBC features St Albans and green pilgrimage this Christmas

January 3, 2012:

The annual St Albans pilgrimage festival

When BBC Radio 4 wanted something really special for the Christmas Day edition of its flagship Sunday programme, it decided to focus on the subject of pilgrimage: what it means to be a pilgrim today and, in particular, what it means to be a green pilgrim.

And so the Sunday programme went to the cathedral city of St Albans, the oldest surviving place of Christian worship in Britain and one of the founder members of the Green Pilgrimage Network which was launched at ARC's Sacred Land Celebration in Assisi, Italy, in November 2011.

In joining the Green Pilgrimage Network, St Albans has committed itself to becoming an outstanding place of welcome and hospitality as a Green Pilgrim City.

St Albans Cathedral
As well as making its buildings as environmentally sustainable as possible and encouraging local hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions to sign up as Green Pilgrimage City participants, St Albans is introducing a new environmental trail for school groups and aims to build up a new network of pilgrim ways as well as footpaths and cycle ways.

"Inspired by Alban, Britain’s first Christian martyr, sustained by our tradition of hospitality, worship, and learning, and renowned as a place of pilgrimage, the cathedral is a community of welcome and witness" - St Albans Cathedral & City green pilgrim theological statement
The programme featured presenter Edward Stourton walking the pilgrims way in St Albans with Arun Krataria from St Albans Diocese; the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt Rev Rowan Williams, talking about what pilgrimage means today; and a report from the Holyland on the modern day pilgrim.

And for those of you who've always wondered what a Twelfth Cake is, food historian Ivan Day was on hand to explain.

The programme was broadcast on December 25 but is available to listen again permanently on the BBC Radio 4 website. Click here.

Read St Albans Green Pilgrimage Statement in full here.

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A ban on cars on pilgrimage routes; solar panels for cathedral roofs; provision of fresh clean, water for pilgrims, and the planting of thousands of trees around sacred sites - these are just some of the initiatives which the founder members of the Green Pilgrimage Network today pledged to implement.
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The vision is of pilgrims on all continents and the pilgrim cities that receive them, leaving a positive footprint on the Earth
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