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Journeys

Tri peth a dylai dyn ystyried:
Ble mae, O ble mae'n dod, a ble mae'n myned
There are three things a person should know: Where he is coming from, where he is and where he is going to
Traditional Welsh saying

The underlying theme of all Pathways work is that of journey, of moving from one place to another. Thus journeys are created in which groups and individuals experience varied environments and have time to reflect on the ways in which the experiences and encounters may have personal significance.

The walked journey is the oldest and most regular component of these journeys. First organised in 1976, they began as experiments in experiential education – a means of assisting the understanding of the concept of pilgrimage. In essence they remain as such – each one an experiment, producing its own particular flavour and testing quality.

The word pilgrimage is rooted in the Latin per ager – ‘to pass through the land’. This is precisely what the journeys do. It is in the ‘passing through’, that the encounters occur.

We prefer to use the more neutral term journey in introducing these activities. Whilst the physical destination is usually a significant religious building such as a cathedral or site such as a stone circle, it is felt that the word pilgrimage contains meanings which need to be explored personally by participants, rather than imposed externally.

Many people visit famous centres of pilgrimage – but remain simply visitors or tourists. They do not share the beliefs or more importantly, the intentions, of those who have a made a journey full of deeper personal meaning and commitment. Thus one person’s ‘living pilgrimage centre’ is another’s ‘historical monument’.

Pilgrimages are journeys that require, for the participant, a depth of purpose and personal meaning. They are as intentional as any practical journey (to buy food for example) but are driven by mind and spirit, rather than simply physical need. Thus travelling to places such as the birthplace of a significant person can become a pilgrimage if, for the traveller, the journey is imbued with deeper than normal meaning.

Our intention is that the walked journey becomes, for those who join together to pass through the land, a pilgrimage of their own choosing, and that the destination provides a space in which to celebrate significant achievement.

At the end of one such journey, a young woman, having struggled to survive the testing days and having just realised that she had walked over a 100 miles, could barely contain her delight and later wrote ‘this has changed my life’. Thus does ‘journey’ become ‘pilgrimage’.


Pathways journeys in England and Wales Oxford to Canterbury Bishops Castle to Whitchurch Glastonbury Bishops Castle to Whitchurch Canonicorum Hereford Worcester Coventry to Worcester Coventry Coventry to Canterbury Bishops Castle to Coventry Leicester Bishops Castle to Leicester Stamford Stamford to Lincoln Wilburton to Lincoln Lincoln Buxton to Lincoln Buxton Liverpool Bishops Castle to Liverpool Bishop's Castle Mitchell's Fold Pennant Melangell Bishops Castle to Pennant Melangell Llandanwg Bishops Castle to Llandanwg Ynys Enlli / Bardsey Llangybi Clynnog Fawr to Bardsey Clynnog Fawr Llanbadarn Fawr Bishops to Llanbadarn Fawr Strata Florida Abbey Cwmhir to Strata Florida Abbey Cwmhir Worcester to Abbey Cwmhir Mwnt Nefern St David's Llangybi to Bardsey Buckfast Whitchurch Canonicorum Bishops Castle to Whitchurch Canonicorum Blisland Blisland to St Michaels Mount St Michael's Mount Hereford to Rome, Assisi, S Italy, Taizé Newbury to Paris Newbury to Ghent Pegwell Bay Canterbury London St Albans St Edmundsbury Walsingham Newbury to Walsingham Ely Leicester to Ely Wilburton Newbury Oxford to Newbury Oxford Oxford to Canterbury Coventry to Worcester Derby York Ripon Briersfield (Burnley) to Ripon Briersfield (Burnley) Sunderland Point Durham Crook Whitby Lindisfarne Crook to Lindisfarne Wells Newbury to Wells Glastonbury Cleeve Crook to Whitby Sunderland Point to Durham Bishop's Castle to York Derby to Mitchells Fold Cleeve to Buckfast Ely to Walsingham St Edmundsbury to St Albans London to Pegwell Bay Bishops Castle to St Davids Bishops Castle to Nefern Bishops Castle to Mwnt Chester Hilbre Island Mow Cop Jodrell Bank Stapeley Hill to Jodrell Bank Mow Cop to Hilbre Island

 

  To be on a quest is nothing more or less than to become an asker of questions.
Sam Keen