The Reformation, plus the following century and more, saw the destruction of religious paintings, sculptures, books. Colour and music were removed and our churches went sepia as opposed to the previous full colour versions.
The statues above are a very recent addition to St Alban’s Cathedral, filling gaps left by that Reformation damage. These martyrs come from a mix of time and religion. Going from left to right, they are:
Archbishop Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador who had opposed the treatment of the poor by the Government of El Salvador and the Junta, and was shot while celebrating Mass in 1980;
St Alban Roe, a Roman Catholic priest who was imprisoned for a time in St Albans Abbey Gatehouse and was then hanged in London in 1642, a human loss to the Reformation;
Amphiboles, a priest sheltered from the Roman authorities by Alban and martyred in Rebourn, a neighbouring Hertfordshire town;
Saint Alban himself, the first British Christian martyr, executed around 250AD;
George Tankerfield, a Protestant who was burned to death outside the west front of St Albans Abbey for his refusal to accept the restoration of Roman Catholicism under Mary Tudor;
Sister Elisabeth Romanova, a member of the Russian Royal Family and granddaughter to Queen Victoria, who became a Russian Orthodox nun and abbess and was murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918;
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran Pastor and theologian who was imprisoned in a concentration camp for his opposition to the Nazis and was hanged in April 1945.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 17 March 2017
Part of My Sunday Photo