Could you open your church, business or home to modern pilgrims?
A fortnight of pilgrimage on the Cornish Celtic Way is being planned for late August and early September this year.
The fortnight’s activities are being co-ordinated by the Revd Nigel Marns, who is the pilgrimage facilitator for the Diocese of Truro, as well as being the Rector of Mounts Bay United Benefice.
There will be eight guided walks during the walking festival, which will run from August 27 to September 12, and Nigel is encouraging locals and visitors alike to walk sections or all of the Cornish Celtic Way.
He is also co-ordinating accommodation options for people who want to join in the pilgrimage, and is hoping churches and other individuals and organisations will be willing to join in and open their doors to pilgrims in need of shelter and hospitality.
Some churches along the route have already made generous offers and are planning to open their church halls, and in some cases the churches themselves, for people to sleep in during the walking festival. One parish community is already planning to offer breakfast to the pilgrims.
“This is the first time we have attempted this, and I am delighted by the very positive response we have received so far,” said Nigel. “The accommodation offers may be a bit higgledy-piggledy this year, and I am not sure we will be able to offer free or very cheap options for pilgrims for the whole length of the route. However, our plan is very much to establish a pilgrimage season along the Cornish Celtic Way and to publicise and really open up this route. Hopefully, in years to come we will be able to offer basic accommodation to people all the way along the route for a defined period each year.
“It is really very exciting for us, as there is certainly a growing level of interest in pilgrimage. I hope that people will get involved in helping others to walk the route, as well as walking the route themselves
“The aim of the Cornish Celtic Way is to aid people of all ages who are interested in spirituality to explore and develop their faith in a different way. We believe that having faith isn’t about just going to a place of worship – it’s about getting out and experiencing it in everyday life as well, and taking it into your own hands. We hope that the Cornish Celtic Way will develop spiritual growth and personal reflection through stories of the Celtic saints, Cornwall’s rich history, incredible landscape and the people and communities that will be encountered along the way.”
The Cornish Celtic Way first hit the news when the Bishop Of St Germans, The Rt Revd Dr Chris Goldsmith, walked the entire route in the spring of this year (2017). He was moved by the many offers of hospitality he received and by the numbers of people who chose to join him on sections of the walk.
Nigel will himself lead several walks along different sections of the route during the pilgrimage fortnight, and will be able to help his fellow walkers discover the history of the saints who trod the same route hundreds of years ago.
Anybody who is interested in either walking the route or believes they may be able to offer very cheap or free accommodation to pilgrims is asked to contact Nigel by email on email@example.com
For more information about the Cornish Celtic Way go to www.cornishcelticway.co.uk