Event Summary

Conference & Policy in Practice Workshop - 10th September   

Talks provided an understanding (both historic and contemporary) of the scale and potential for pilgrimage in Norfolk and insight into the current initiatives taking place that are linked to its success. See more detail of the conference speakers below.

The Policy in Practice workshop focused on utilising valuation methodologies.

Steering Committee Meetings – 11th September   

Whilst project partners met for administrative discussions, stakeholders visited St. Peter Hungate the first church used for non-religious purposes in Britain followed by a labyrinth walk at Norwich Cathedral.   

Visit to Kings Lynn – 11th/12th September   

Participants arrived in the historic seaport and market town of King's Lynn by boat to visit the much anticipated ‘Journeys’ exhibition featuring artefacts on loan from the British Museum and items collected from partner projects. The group was welcomed at a Civic Reception at the Town Hall, before our dinner featuring local specialities. The next day partners and stakeholders visited the Stories of Lynn exhibition and got closer to historic pilgrim routes through a pilgrim walking tour.

Visit to Walsingham - 12th/13th September   

The group experienced both the Pilgrims Way and a section of path which is part of the proposed extended route from Fakenham to Walsingham. 

Walsingham & Wells-next-to-sea - 13th September    

Hosted by the Anglican Shrine involving local partners, partners and stakeholders explored the theme of hospitality and how it incorporates health, wellbeing and diversity. Through a morning of talks and activities we met people who work in very different roles and see how their work embodies the values of hospitality, aiming to meet the needs of the many and varied guests. 

Conference programme detail - 10th September

09:30    Dr. Michael Schmoelz – University of East Anglia - The Medieval ‘Pilgrim Pound’    

Dr. Michael Schmoelz, expert in landscape archaeology will provide insight into medieval pilgrimage in Norfolk drawing out themes central to our contemporary interest in green pilgrimage as a benefit for all. We’ll learn about trends in pilgrimage including the demise of long distance pilgrimage to the adoption of individual pilgrim practices, and the creative ways the church sought to draw people back to pilgrimage.   

10.00    Dr. James Albone (Norfolk County Council) & The Reverend Dr. Peter Doll (Norwich Cathedral) - Historic routes to Walsingham and the Norwich Cathedral revival   

Dr. James Albone is an archaeologist and landscape historian with a particular research interest in past routeways. Using evidence from historic maps and documents, place-names and archaeological finds James will examine how former pilgrimage routes can be reconstructed. 

The Reverend Dr Peter Doll, Canon Librarian at Norwich Cathedral will introduce the Walsingham Way Project, its vision to revive the historic pilgrimage route from Norwich to Walsingham and how their current plans are being realised through a successful RDPE grant of £31,000.   

10:30    Elizabeth & Clovis Meath Baker – Directors of Walsingham Estate - Walsingham, the challenges and opportunities   

Today Walsingham is of international importance with this unique village receiving 300,000 visitors annually to the shrines, Abbey and local heritage sites.  As key local actors with a diverse range of activities linked to the Walsingham visitor experience Elizabeth and Clovis will help us to understand the profile of visitors, the challenges for the local community and the great opportunities for development.

11:30    Chana James – National Communications Manager- Churches Conservation Trust     Champing – A case study of tourism innovation around faith spaces.    

Chana James will provide an overview of how diversification of building usage through their initiative 'champing' benefits not only the survival of churches, but the local economy and provides potential for infrastructure along pilgrimage routes.   

12.00    Matt Hayward – Lead Project Officer Norfolk County Council    Using data to make better decisions.   

Developing walking and cycling routes plays a key part in rural development as well as providing a host of social and health benefits to individuals, and benefits to the environment. Matt Hayward will show how data showing these benefits is being used to make evidence based decisions to prioritised investment in this infrastructure work.   

12.30    Professor Kerry Turner – University of East Anglia    How to value green pilgrimage – an introduction to the methodology   

How can we better understand these routes and the economic, social and environmental impact pilgrimage is having on communities and individuals. Professor Kerry Turner, specialist in environmental economics will present the results of their scoping work reviewing the most suitable methodologies for valuing the complexity of elements included in green pilgrimage.