Pilgrim Pioneers Wanted

13th August 2021

Visitors on foot are being asked to test walk the routes leading to every one of our Cathedrals

Walk this way – to be a Pilgrim Pioneer

They are asked to share their tips and recommendations with fellow pilgrims to make the routes the best they can be.

A collaboration between the Association of English Cathedrals and the British Pilgrimage Trust in 2020 saw the creation of one-day walking routes to all 42 cathedrals – plus some churches in Wales too.

Visitors can find routes available at every cathedral from one day to even two week options, and many have circular routes in place too.

The routes include long established ways such as Salisbury, Winchester, Canterbury, Lichfield, Chester, and Hereford Cathedrals, as well as lesser known pathways: Worcester Cathedral along the river; a pilgrimage to Durham following the final leg of the St Cuthbert’s Community’s medieval journey carrying the saint’s body to its final resting place; the six mile route to Guildford following the Old Pilgrim’s Way from Winchester to Canterbury; Liverpool’s route that encounters both the Anglican and Catholic cathedrals.

And routes in Birmingham and Manchester reflect their diverse communities too by encountering Mosques, Jewish Synagogues and other holy places along the way.

Most routes take in established wayfarer paths, other places of faith, spiritual pathways and lesser known pilgrim ways and all the routes are available to download onto a digital map app and can be found on the British Pilgrimage Website.

And now, with the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, and the summer holidays, we are asking for “pilgrim pioneers” to make sure these walking routes are the best they can be.

A special feedback button has been added to the route webpages where you can give the BPT tips about the condition of the paths, recommended loo or café stops, feedback on the route quality and possible variations and the ease rating of the route, and other practical details, with which they will then update the website.

Guy Hayward of the British Pilgrimage Trust said:

“The British Pilgrimage Trust needs YOU! 

“We are dependent on grass roots support and initiative by locals that love their land to maintain the pilgrim routes of Britain. As you can imagine, the state of footpaths and amenities change each year, therefore annual audits are required to keep a project like this one up-to-date. 

“This wonderful network of cathedral day routes has been running for almost two years now, and it’s time for a spruce up… fill in our Google form and we will be forever grateful, and may also want to work with you further in the future, if you are keen. By stepping out onto these paths, you will get the satisfaction of trailblazing for many pilgrims who will get much joy from following in your footsteps.”

Don’t forget if you are visiting any of our cathedrals you need your passport … your Pilgrim Passport … get it stamped at each individual cathedral – why not collect them all!

Buy Pilgrim Pasport Online

Please be assured all our cathedrals have achieved the ‘We’re Good To Go’ official UK charter mark to signal that we follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and have a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.