Westminster Abbey to welcome pilgrims to the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor

04th October 2023

Westminster Abbey will open its doors for the annual pilgrimage to the shrine of St Edward the Confessor on Saturday 14 October.

Westminster Abbey to welcome pilgrims to the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor

The pilgrimage day is part of Westminster Abbey’s annual celebration of Edward the Confessor, the king and saint whose shrine lies at the heart of the church.

Doors will open at 9.30am, with worshippers invited to pray at the shrine and in other spaces in the Abbey. Priests will be available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and a chapel will be set aside for the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

In this Coronation year there will be a particular focus on calling, vocation and service, with pilgrims invited to reflect on Christ, the Servant King, whom St Edward served, and on opportunities for service and discerning vocation and calling in our own lives.

The Abbey has been a place of pilgrimage since its origin as a Benedictine monastery founded under the patronage of King Edgar and St Dunstan around 960AD. About a hundred years later, Edward the Confessor rebuilt the Abbey church alongside his new Palace of Westminster and dedicated it to St Peter. Edward was canonised in 1161. In the 13th century Henry III began building a much grander Abbey church which was consecrated on 13th October 1269, when St Edward’s body was moved from its original resting place in front of the high altar to its own shrine.

Edward’s burial here, and the coronations and burials of many of his successors, led to Westminster Abbey becoming a unique place of prayer and thanksgiving as well as pilgrimage.

Pilgrims are welcome to attend for all or part of the day.

Attendance is free and tickets are not required.

For further information just tap here.