Following and since our 2022 re-organisation our Grand Priory of All Britain, the Grand Priory of Wales and the Grand Priory of England have increased our commitment to pilgrimages and similar excursions. For example. one of our senior Knights (Adam - a Royal Navy submariner veteran) and a friend have set themselves a year-long pilgrimage challenge. Here's what they have to say:
We are undertaking 12 Pilgrim paths in Britain (one per month, we started in January 2022) on foot, some long forgotten and some others well established. In pilgrimage, the journey itself is as important as the destination. Hence the 12 routes that we have chosen take in some of Britain’s most inspiring landscapes and powerfully spiritual places. They follow rivers, coastlines, forest tracks, and trails over hill and dale. They feature, cathedrals, ancient monasteries and churches, holy wells, wayside crosses and places that have paid mute witness to millennia of prayer. We also hope to raise funds for our chosen charities where we would make a difference to people’s lives . The two charities that are close to our hearts are Homeless Veterans and Young Carers.
If you would like to follow their walks in more detail or contribute to the fund-raising effort please use our "Contact Us" page and you'll be put in touch with them - and thank you.
Meanwhile their third, March, walk took them from St Augustine's shrine at Ramsgate to the watery world of the Stour Valley, the saint's Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral, the heart of English Christianity.
During the 21 or so miles, focal points included St Augustine's Cross, St Mildred's Priory, the Saxon pilgrim churches of Stour Valley, St Martin's (the oldest English-speaking Church in the world), St Augustine's Abbey and finally Canterbury cathedral. They also picked up the Viking trail, which was a bonus.
Here are some photographs taken on the way:
Adam's account continues with the fourth, April, pilgrimage - the path to Avalon; across the Mendips to the holy wells of Wells, and on across the Somerset Levels to Glastonbury, where legends of Jesus and King Arthur combine. Joined by his daughter Chelsey, they embraced the delights of Cheddar to Priddy; Ebbor Gorge and Wookey Hole; visiting Wells Cathedral and the Bishop's Palace along the way. Inspired by the oldest medieval street in Europe (Vicars' Close) to being in awe of the scissor arches in Wells Cathedral, then Glastonbury Tor and Glastonbury Abbey all made this pilgrimage a great experience.
If you would like to contribute to the fund-raising effort please use our "Contact Us" page and you'll be put in touch with them - and thank you.
Here are the latest details of Adam's pilgrimages.
Our fifth pilgrimage we ventured from the unique Saxon church at Escomb, Via Durham Cathedral and the shrines of St Cuthbert and St Oswald and Well, to the home of St Godric the pilgrim pioneer at Finchale (Priory). We extended our walk from 21 to nearly 27 miles to take in the additional delights of Auckland Castle, Croxdale Viaduct and Croxdale Hall, St Bartholomew's church, the Tree of Life Carving and Durham Castle. My first time to the North East and i can assure you, I wasn't disappointed as this beautiful land had much to offer.
Our 7th pilgrimage had taken us to St Milburga's Shropshire, Ironbridge, Much Wenlock and Wenlock Edge. The last time I visited Ironbridge was on a school trip which brought back fond memories. The ruins of Buildwas Abbey was awe-inspiring as so was Sheinton Church and St Milburga's Well. Founded in 680, the ruins of Wenlock Priory was impressive - it was once the size of a cathedral. The pilgrimage was a little challenging as the weather was quite hot with little shade. Shropshire is a beautiful part of our country and well worth a visit.
The Path of St David, a coastal pilgrimage through a sacred
landscape was our 8th of the year. I felt a sense of respect as we walked in
the footsteps of Wales's patron saint, from St David's baptism on St Elvis Farm
to the ancient chapel and holy well of his mother, St Non, and the cathedral in
the town bears his name. This was my first coastal walk and although a little
tough at times, the views were breathtaking and well worth the challenge. Visiting St Non's Chapel, St Davids Stone a St Non's Holy Well was a real
I walked a section of St Thomas Cantilupe’s pilgrimage from
Swansea to Hereford for my 9th pilgrimage of the year. The St Thomas
Way (as it is known) is made up of 13 individual places to visit and of which I was
drawn to two of them - Ewenny and Llancarfan. Ewenny, a rural village
in the Vale of Glamorgan, is a true Marcher location where historic paths and
old ways wind across the landscape which includes Ewenny Priory and Ogmore
Castle. Llancarfan, is known for its medieval St Cadoc’s Church and the
historic treasures it holds.
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