As well as 2020 bringing together a remarkable number of individual cathedral anniversaries and initiatives that help tell Britain’s story, there will also be a host of new pilgrim routes highlighting the importance of spiritual, mental and physical well-being.
More about Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage.
In County Durham, a network of new Northern Saints Trails will officially be launched in Spring 2020.
These six long distance walking routes celebrate ancient pilgrim routes and aim to raise awareness of North East England as the Christian crossroads of the British Isles through the stories of the regions’ saints and the places they inhabited.
Equally exciting is the recognition of a walking route that takes in Durham Cathedral as part of the Camino Ingles – the English Way that leads to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. In County Durham the route will be known as the Finchale Camino.
Two weeks ago the Dean of Durham, the Very Revd Andrew Tremlett and a group of walkers including the Friends of the Finchale Camino and Liz Fisher from the Auckland Project walked a section of the route. They went from Bishop Auckland to Durham Cathedral to mark the dedication. The pilgrims were sent on their way from Bishop Aukland to Durham Cathedral with a blessing by the Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Paul Butler. On arrival at Durham Cathedral a piper and drummer led the pilgrims into the Cathedral for Evensong.
Keith Taylor, Chairman of The Finchale Friends of the Camino said,
“Saturday was a wonderful opportunity to commemorate the link between Durham Cathedral and Auckland Castle, as we walked along the route of the Camino Inglés, the way followed by many British pilgrims on their journey from Durham to Santiago in Northern Spain.”
Anyone who chooses do sections of the Finchale Camino, taking in Finchale Abbey, Durham Cathedral, Auckland Castle and Escomb, are eligible to receive official Camino stamps in the Camino pilgrim passport, which is also valid in Spain. The distance walked counts towards the 100km required to have officially walked the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. The Camino Inglés routes in Spain start from the northern port cities of A Coruña and Ferrol, and were the routes traditionally taken by pilgrims from Northern Europe, the United Kingdom, Southern Ireland and Northern Europe when travelling to Santiago. The routes were also important for enabling medieval trade.
Liz Fisher, Engagement and Curatorial Director of The Auckland Project said,
“The history of the Camino Inglés is rooted right here in County Durham. It is so exciting that The Auckland Project has helped to officially re-establish this historic trail, ensuring that walkers from the region and across the world can enjoy it for generations to come.”
The full route can be found on the British Pilgrimage Trust website.
More information about the Northern Saints Trails to be launched in 2020 can be found here.