The ancient tradition of Pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral will be celebrated with a weekend of events and special services in the historic city on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 October 2014.
Pilgrims are encouraged to pack their bag, put on their boots and make the journey to Canterbury on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 of October as the Cathedral and some of the city’s most iconic locations celebrate a weekend of Pilgrimage themed events, walks, talks, and services.
A full programme of the city’s events can be downloaded here.
Canterbury and its famed Cathedral have long since had a historic connection with Pilgrimage. As the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury and once the home of the shrine of St Thomas Becket, the Cathedral is both a holy place and part of a World Heritage Site and still today welcomes Pilgrims. It is a destination for those who have travelled the Pilgrims’ Way, the ancient Pilgrim paths from Winchester, Rochester and Southwark and it is often the starting point for those en route to European Pilgrimage sites such as Santiago de Compostela in Spain and the Via Francigena to Rome.
The planned weekend will celebrate this heritage and tradition and will culminate with the Archbishop of Canterbury preaching at a celebratory Evensong on Sunday 5 October at 15:15
Pilgrims come from all around the world. For some, this is their destination; and for others the place from which they set out. They travel on foot, bicycle, horseback, in vintage cars, disability scooters, cars and coaches. You name it, they do it! It’s wonderful to be part of their journeys.
Canon Pastor Clare Edwards
The aim of the new website is to make it easier for pilgrims to plan and make their journey. It contains information about places to stay and we’ve negotiated some discounts for those carrying a pilgrim passport which gives evidence of the journey they’re making. There’s information about where people can eat and buy provisions and details about places of interest, churches, where people can obtain their passport and get it stamped.
It’s a work in progress. This information has been gathered from local people who are the experts on their area and we’re relying on them to keep us up to date. There are some places where we don’t have very much information yet so we’re hoping people will provide it for us. It is a project which depends on the involvement of local communities. We hear many amazing stories of the hospitality and kindness of those whom pilgrims have met on their journeys.
We want to encourage local communities and church congregations to make the most of the amazing opportunities they have to engage with pilgrims, to exchange stories and reflect on their own journeys. At the end of September and beginning of October 2014 people will be walking from different places along the routes to arrive in Canterbury for a celebration of Pilgrimage with Archbishop Justin at the Cathedral on 5 October. It may be 140 miles from Winchester, it may be the last mile into Canterbury, and everyone is welcome to be part of it.
Canon Clare Edwards
Modern day Pilgrims are encouraged to share their tales and images via social media using the hashtag #canpilgrim.
A poster advertising the weekend’s event can be downloaded here.