Pilgrim Street – Contemporary Pilgrimage
Hello and welcome to Pilgrim Street!
Going on a journey to a significant place is important in many religions and cultures. Here at Pilgrim Street, I am working to explore pilgrimage in a contemporary setting in the British Isles, valuing the many ancient Christian sites in Britain and further afield and the traditions and rhythms of prayer that are fundamental to these very special places. However, at Pilgrim Street I also seek to re-interpret pilgrimage in the context of contemporary church life and Christian experience in an increasingly urbanised society.
What is distinctive about Pilgrim Street is that each year I walk on a pilgrimage which begins and ends at my home on the border of Wales and England in the Brecon Beacons National Park. From there, I have walked thousands of miles to ancient Christian sites not only in Wales and England but also further afield to Brittany, Ireland and the Isle of Man.
However, with so many wonderful places to visit, I also undertake what I call peregrinatio ( the old word for pilgrimage) in areas of the British Isles that are more distant from my home or to allow me to explore further in regions I have already visited. These routes are always contiguous with previous pilgrimages, allowing me to extend what I have done on an earlier walk.
My pilgrimages have enabled me to have the privilege of visiting many very interesting churches, chapels and cathedrals with all sorts of fascinating features. Some of these things, such as ancient hogsback stones and medieval roodscreens, are included in the ‘Visiting’ section of this website. There you can find a selection of my photos on various topics and some useful information.
Above all, my pilgrimages are contemporary prayer walks, seeking to combine greater understanding of the history of Christianity with the experience of living as a person of faith in modern-day Britain.
Autumn 2022 update:
After Easter this year, I set out from my home in Wales to the Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham and then on to St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. As always seems to be the case on my pilgrimages, I had a wonderful time with all sorts of adventures. In the summer I also walked peregrinatio in south Wales, following the Cistercian Way between Tintern Abbey and Neath Abbey and then home through Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil. A fascinating time in a remarkable landscape!
As regards giving talks, I am looking forward to giving presentations to various groups this autumn. Meanwhile, my plans for 2023 include a possible return to Brittany and also walking on pilgrimage to the holy island of Lindisfarne in the north of England.
Books by Anne Hayward
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