Lockdown Lane

Over the coming weeks it is my intention to make a number of virtual pilgrimages with friends along routes they know well and, with the help of technology, to share in their experience of the route and the destination. Past experience of virtual pilgrimage is that it can be as joyous as the real thing … Continue reading Lockdown Lane

Swift to Glastonbury

In preparation for the publication on April 9th of my book, We Are Pilgrims, last week I joined a group of around 15 folks on a pilgrimage from Glastonbury to Wells Cathedral. We began early in the day with a visit to two water sources that emanate from beneath Glastonbury Tor - the White Spring … Continue reading Swift to Glastonbury

All You Need is ‘Love’

Travelling up to Blackburn yesterday, I had to change trains at Preston and, asking the guard “which platform?” received the response “you want number four Love”. Not the passive aggressive “look ‘ere Love” of Londoners, typically directed to women, but a plain warm tone used equally by men and women in these parts to address … Continue reading All You Need is ‘Love’

What Have the Baltics Ever Done For Us?

It’s easy to forget what we owe others, when we’re busy listing our grievances, or counting our blessings, or hoarding our resources. In a hot debate on Europe, and more particularly, where it begins and ends, an otherwise temperate friend recently complained “why should we care about the Baltic states, what value are they to … Continue reading What Have the Baltics Ever Done For Us?

Inside, Outside, Ely

The one-day pilgrimage from Littleport to Ely was, for the most part, straight and clear, the path raised high above a canalised section of the Cam. One of the waterways which once carried goods to and from the Isle of Ely, on this day it carried only two boats of coxless fours and their coach … Continue reading Inside, Outside, Ely

Virtually There

On Wednesday, with the help of a little technology, my friend Richard and I made a virtual pilgrimage from Croyde Bay in Devon, around (the contrarily named) Baggy Point and with the air clear and bright over the sea, we were able to see out to Lundy Island, that finger of granite in the Atlantic that points up … Continue reading Virtually There

City Centre Sanctuary

The atmosphere of many grand or old buildings can be cold and austere, but Wakefield Cathedral, which is both old and grand, embraces the visitor as soon as they step through the door. A labyrinth set into the recently re-laid stone floor is an invitation to enter a different frame of mind: the act of … Continue reading City Centre Sanctuary

Feast and Famine

It shows enormous political confidence to build a cathedral; a declaration of the strength of the church, now and for tomorrow. ( We are richly blessed with over 40 English Cathedrals) And even during the decades of building and carving and embellishing, the construction of a cathedral serves an immediate social and economic purpose, raising … Continue reading Feast and Famine

The Glass Bead Game

Sliding up the Suffolk coast and across the fenlands to Norwich on a cold and blustery Monday, my friend Angie was sceptical about walking the one-day BPT pilgrimage from Caistor St Edmund church to the cathedral. “Norfolk has been ruined by roads” she said, so, as friends do, we compromised. Our drive (via the ruinous roads) to and from Norwich … Continue reading The Glass Bead Game

The Power of Song

This week I spent a day walking and talking with Will Parsons, co-founder of the British Pilgrimage Trust and intrepid explorer into that rich spiritual world which lies beyond the surface of any pilgrim path. It was a transcendent experience. Our day’s journey began in the misty morning amongst the yew trees of St Mary’s churchyard, Patrixbourne … Continue reading The Power of Song