Conference 11th June 

Speakers will present a variety of modern pilgrimage manifestations including the British Pilgrimage Trust, The Poetry Practice wellbeing workshop, the Refugee Tales and their use of Chaucer’s Pilgrims Tales for a political campaign and an exploration of the UK Public Rights of Way network which is a globally unique system forming the physical backbone of Kent’s pilgrimage routes.   

Study Visit 12th June 

Participants will visit Charing Palace Trust which is trying to preserve a 12 hundred year old pilgrimage complex as a community hub, pilgrimage destination and tourism attraction in the heart of Kent.  A traditional pub lunch will follow with a review of the Ales of the Trail project to generate income for the North Downs Way. The afternoon will feature a unique walk showcasing the modern pilgrimage experience offered by the British Pilgrimage Trust. Participants will then visit Aylesford Priory to discover centuries of pilgrimage tradition including dinner in the beautiful pilgrim’s hall.   

Steering Committee Meeting / Stakeholder Visit 13th June 

Whilst project partners meet for administrative discussions, stakeholder participants will be treated to guided tour of ‘Canterbury Tales’.  This showcases how a pilgrim theme can support a modern tourism experience.    Policy in Practice Workshop 13th June  Project partners and stakeholders will develop how policy in their regions can support pilgrimage growth sustainably for the benefit of pilgrims, visitors and residents.   

Pilgrimage Festival  From Thursday 13th to Saturday 15th June

The Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome will be hosting a Pilgrimage Festival which participants can attend during their free time.  This will be a public engagement event and will feature walks, talks, a feast and an exhibition.    

Conference Programme Tuesday 11th June 2019 , Canterbury, Kent UK

09:00  Greetings  

09:30   Public Rights of Way – A globally unique walking heritage  Graham Rusling is the Public Rights of Way and Access Manager at Kent County Council.  Graham will explain this unique heritage, its history, modern value, and a short workshop will introduce participants to this complex public mapping system unique to the UK.   

11:00 Refreshments   

11.30 Dr Guy Hayward. British Pilgrimage Trust  The BPT was formed in 2014 as a Charitable Trust and their core goal is to “advance British pilgrimage as a form of cultural heritage that promotes holistic wellbeing, for the public benefit.”  The Trust enjoys high profile patronage and has been very successful in promoting media interest in their activities.  Dr Hayward will explain the ethos, operation, and objectives of this very modern pilgrimage charity.   

12:00 Julia Lewis. The Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome  Founded in 2006  the CPR is a charitable non-denominational organisation dedicated to promoting pilgrimage to Rome on foot, bicycle or horseback from Canterbury to Rome along the Via Francigena and on other historical pilgrim routes.  CPR will present their objectives, achievements and future ambitions focusing on how grassroots organisations can support pilgrimage.  CPR will ask how local authorities can support these objectives?    

12:30  Lunch    

13:30  Eugene Ling.  Pilgrimage Coordinator, Connections in St Martin’s in the Field  The Connection at St Martin’s in the Field is a charity which helps over 200 homeless people in Central London every day. Now celebrating its 29th year, The Connection organises an annual Pilgrimage from London to Canterbury to raise money and awareness for the charity.  Eugene Ling will explain the history and contemporary relevance of this very modern pilgrimage.   

14:00 Anna Pincus.  Refugee Tales  Refugee Tales is an outreach project of Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group inspired by the experiences of men held in immigration detention at Gatwick and the work of the Group in 20 years of visiting.  Anna will explain how the theme of pilgrimage through Chaucer has inspired a political movement.     

14:30  Andrew Kelly. Augustine Camino  The Augustine Camino pilgrim walk is full of beauty, wonder, sharing and tradition; from Rochester Cathedral, past medieval Aylesford Priory and Canterbury Cathedral to the Shrine of St Augustine in Ramsgate. Andrew will share this journey from idea to business to inspire Green Pilgrimage regions to support private sector pilgrimage support.   

15:00  Refreshments   

15:30 Victoria Field. The Poetry Practice  Wellbeing, literature and pilgrimage.  Victoria will lead participants through the concept of a literary journey of wellbeing, poetry and pilgrimage including some taster activities.   

16:30  Group Discussion and Key Learning points   

17:00  Conference End and Conclusions