2020 is Year of Cathedrals Year of Pilgrimage – but don’t take our word for it …
Take a look at the brilliant blog, Clara and the Cathedrals here.
Pilgrim passports are available in every Church of England cathedral as part of our national campaign for 2020 Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage.
These passport sized booklets are the invention of two cathedral education officers, Jackie Holderness at Christ Church Oxford, and Portsmouth’s Sarah Page, who simply wanted to encourage visitors to see their visit as a pilgrimage.
They are full of inspirational quotes, prayers, a check list of cathedrals by region, and blank pages for visitors to record their thoughts and space to get their passport stamped at every cathedral or holy place they visit.
They have been produced by the Association of English Cathedrals and launched for the Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage and are available to buy in every Church of England Cathedral and its Welsh partners for just £4.99 or just click the button below.
In a unique collaboration, the Association of English Cathedrals has also teamed up with the British Pilgrimage Trust to ensure however you arrive at a cathedral, you will be able to come on foot.
The cathedral pilgrimage project by Dr Guy Hayward of the British Pilgrimage Trust and the ‘Britain’s Holiest Places’ and ‘Naked Hermit’ author, Dr Nick Mayhew-Smith, in collaboration with the cathedrals, offers a host of different length routes – including new circular routes for those who don’t want feel comfortable using public transport at this time.
“This project is about creating a whole new way of engaging with cathedrals for everyone, whether or not they have been into a cathedral before.
“Cathedrals are, in some way, holy magnets: they draw you towards them, most obviously in a visual sense as they are often the only thing you can see on the horizon.
“Cathedrals can become the ultimate symbols of destination,” he added.
The routes which can be found HERE and on the British Pilgrimage Trust’s website 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.
Routes in Birmingham and Manchester reflect their diverse communities too by encountering Mosques, Jewish Synagogues and other holy places along the way.
A pilgrimage is a journey on foot that connects holy places such as a cathedral, parish church, chapel, ruined abbey, mosque, synagogue, temple, hermitage, cave, grave, holy well, ancient tree, prehistoric monument, war memorial, source or mouth of a river, and hilltop.
At the start of your pilgrimage set an intention for yourself – to bring in something into your life, let go of something else, or have a question answered . As you walk you can practice gratitude and mindfulness, notice plants and animals, sing a song, or be silent.
Whatever faith or belief system you may or may not have, pilgrimage is yours to discover. (Guy Hayward)
Guy Hayward and Nick Mayhew Smith have just launched their latest book: Britain’s Pilgrim Places: The First Complete Guide to Every Spiritual Treasure (British Pilgrimage Trust) which features every Church of England cathedral – with colour photographs by Marcus Green who has spent this year visiting every one of our cathedrals, writing a short visitors blog for us – and capturing them in all their glory with his camera!