The Church in Wales has joined the Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage project by launching a host of new pilgrimage routes tracing the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims across the centuries whose journeying has been inspired by the stories of the country’s patron saint.
In Pembrokeshire, St Davids Cathedral is no newcomer to pilgrimage.
During the holiday season there is a regular Friday pilgrimage along fields and pathways to St Non’s Chapel ruins and Holy Well.
But the cathedral has just joined the British Pilgrimage Trust and the Association of English Cathedrals one-day pilgrimage project to launch three routes which invite visitors to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of the Pembrokeshire Coast path as they reflect on the stories of its namesake.
One of the southern routes starts on the outskirts of the city and journeys to St Non’s Well, taking in the ruins of St Non’s Chapel before winding its way along the coast path through to Porthclais to the site of a Holy Well where it is believed David was baptised, then on to the Cathedral.
Another starts at St David’s Church, Whitchurch near the site of an ancient well and hospital used by pilgrims and travels to the fishing village of Solva where St David’s stone can be found in St Aidan’s church before continuing on the coast path past wells and ancient dwelling sites to the Cathedral.
The northern route takes pilgrims from the Abereiddy ‘Blue Lagoon’ international diving site, to the Cathedral with the option of visiting the ancient site of St David’s Head.
Janet Ingram, Education and Pilgrimage Officer at St Davids, said:
“We hope that these pilgrimage routes offer people time to let go of all the ordinary business and busyness of life in order to rest, reflect and restore balance. Walking in the beautiful surroundings of St Davids and guided by the spiritual stories of Christians past and present, these physical journeys take us on an inner spiritual journey, igniting a creative spark and restoring a sense of peace.
“Pilgrimage can open us to the mystery of being far from home and yet finding we are deeply rooted and ‘at home’, she added.
The British Pilgrimage Trust and The Association of English Cathedrals launched a joint project at the end of last year to ensure
there is a pilgrimage route for every Church of England cathedral to mark 2020 Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage.
These routes ensure that however you arrive, you can come on foot and take in established wayfarer routes, other places of faith, spiritual pathways and lesser known pilgrim ways along the way.
And on the British Pilgrimage site here
St Davids is planning two more pilgrimage routes which will be unveiled on its new website when it launches in March.
Plotaroute versions of the Pilgrimage routes on the links below.
For more news from English Cathedrals, subscribe to our Newsletter below.