Pilgrimages to and from our cathedrals will have new importance this year, as part of the Association of English Cathedrals’ ‘Year of Pilgrimage’ scheme.
Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield Cathedrals all have day pilgrimages based around them, with links to other major churches in the diocese such as Halifax and Dewsbury Minsters.
The Very Revd Jerry Lepine, Dean of Bradford, will be speaking about pilgrimage on Monday January 13 with a talk titled ‘On the Way – the pilgrimage of faith’, as part of the cathedral’s Monday Fellowship program of talks.
Dean Jerry said: “I’m going to be talking about journeys in the Bible and that pilgrimage is at the heart of the understanding of our faith.
“Pilgrimage is about exploring.
“It’s about discovering.
“It’s about walking, even if that’s metaphorically speaking.
“Often with companions, along the Christian Way.
“I shall talk about the mini-pilgrimage walk that each cathedral has got during this Year of Pilgrimage, and I will also look back at a pilgrimage that I did in 2000.
“You could say [that pilgrimage is] just going for a walk, which is healthy for you, particularly if it’s through beautiful scenery, which can be very uplifting.
“But not everybody is able to travel in that way.
“Pilgrimage is important because when you’re on the Way, and on the walk, you’re sharing with others, and learning from others, about faith.
“There is a huge wealth of experience of faith that we can share with each other, and don’t always.
“Often we just hear a preacher talking about it, and actually there’s a considerable amount of insight about faith that we can share together, that each of us have got, whoever we are.
“So whether you’re able to do a pilgrimage walk or a pilgrimage of the heart, I hope that 2020 will be a year of spiritual renewal.”
The cathedral pilgrimage project has been launched by Dr Guy Hayward of the British Pilgrimage Trust and Dr Nick Mayhew Smith, author of ‘Britain’s Holiest Places’ and ‘Naked Hermit’, in collaboration with each Church of England cathedral.
Guy Hayward said: “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.
“It turns cathedrals into more than just tourist places by turning tourists into visitors and visitors into pilgrims.
“And 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 are the ultimate symbols of destination.”
Dr Nick Mayhew-Smith added: “A one-day pilgrimage is perfect for people who live locally to approach their cathedral in a new way.
“All holy places arise from the love and devotion of local people, these are places that bring a community together to celebrate shared values and history.”
The pilgrimages can be found below:
And click here for all the pilgrimage routes across the country.