New Year Resolutions…
As one year draws to an end, we invariably look forward to the new year and the opportunities for new beginnings.
While new year resolutions often barely last past January it is still worth setting yourself some goals or plans to look forward to. While most resolutions focus on not doing things – not drinking alcohol, not eating sugar, not watching so much TV – the best resolutions focus on doing things. Taking up a new hobby, learning a new skill or trying something new are all positive things that will not only give you something to look forward to but will also help improve your health and well being.
With that in mind, why not make yourself a new year resolution to take up walking. Cornwall is blessed to have a number of ancient (and new) pilgrimage routes to help and inspire you.
The Cornish Celtic Way is a 125-mile route from St Germans to St Michael’s Mount, which can be broken up into segments or walked as a whole. The Cornish Celtic Way is a wonderful route, meticulously researched, that can guide you through a spiritual journey of Cornwall. Not just churches (although there are many beautiful ones all along the route) but holy wells, standing stones, meeting places and simple pathways that have been walked and prayed over for centuries.
The route was devised by Ludgvan-based, Revd Canon Nigel Marns, who says: “The aim of the Cornish Celtic Way is to help anyone, of any age, who is interested in spirituality to explore and develop their faith in a different way. 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, taking it into your own hands.”
The Cornish Celtic Way even offers the unique opportunity of camping out in local churches along the way.
The Saints’ Way crosses mid-Cornwall from coast to coast covering approximately 30 miles from Padstow to Fowey. It’s the ancient route used by Celtic and medieval pilgrims to cross Cornwall on their way to Santiago de Compostella in Northern Spain. Dotted with rolling pastures of ancient farmland, pre-historic remains, ancient bridges and pathways, you can expect to see some of the most beautiful scenery in the county. It’s a route that has welcomed pilgrims to its pretty riverside villages for centuries.
St Michael’s Way is 12.5 miles long and stretches between Lelant, near St Ives, to St Michael’s Mount in Marazion. The route is the only footpath in Britain that is designated a European Cultural Route as it is part of a network of pilgrim routes, which lead to St James’ Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in Spain, one of the three most important sites of Christian Pilgrimage in the World.
The Bodmin Way is the newest of the pilgrimage routes in the diocese, connecting five churches around Bodmin, following ancient pilgrim pathways. Linking into the Saints’ Way and the Cornish Celtic Way, it promises a trail of pilgrimage, history, heritage, art and health.
A 20-mile circuit, it could be walked in a day, taking rest breaks in each of the churches. Alternatively, you could take a more leisurely pace over two days, walking on the first day from Cardinham to Bodmin, Nanstallon to Lanivet where you could stay for the night. On the second you could complete the circuit by going on to Lanhydrock before walking back to Cardinham. You can of course just walk between locations in your own time, at your own pace and enjoy the wonder of it all.
For more information on all the pilgrimages including book and stamp details visit https://www.trurodiocese.org.uk/faith-life/pilgrimages/