Pilgrimage today has taken on a different character from its medieval predecessor. There is now a growing desire to take part in a walk through beautiful natural surroundings, with the intention of bringing close the religious and cultural heritage of the past, whether one is “religious”, “church-going” or not. Walkers who undertake such a particular walk are finding it therapeutic and of particular personal value, whether undertaken alone, or in fellowship with others. Maybe such a need arises from a situation in our life, or the stressful and uncertain times in which we live, the fears we have for the continued well-being of our society, environment and the kind of world our children are inheriting.
The British Pilgrimage Trust was formed in 2014. Already it is seeing the revival of old pilgrimage routes and the creation of new ones. This quotation is from the BPT web site https://britishpilgrimage.org/
“ Our core goal is to ‘advance British pilgrimage as a form of cultural heritage that promotes holistic well-being, for the public benefit.’ Pilgrimage was once Britain’s most popular expression of leisure and spirituality, an activity enjoyed by Kings and labourers alike. But the tradition was cut short in 1538, when Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell banned pilgrimage in Britain. Ever since, the tradition has lain fallow. Today, there is a global renaissance of pilgrimage. The BPT believes that pilgrimage in Britain today should not attempt to imitate medieval forms of religious exclusivity. Instead, we are aiming to renew the tradition to fit with modern needs. To this end, the BPT aims to help pilgrimage become a spiritual activity open to all, without religious prescription. The path is open to everyone.”
We hope you will find walking the St Alkelda Way an entirely rewarding, memorable and enjoyable experience.
( Guide book in preparation. Watch this space.)