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Join the first leg of the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Shepherdswell. This is the pilgrim route from Canterbury to Rome, and one of the Council of Europe’s older and more established cultural routes.

  • 15 Jun 2019
  • 8.45 - 5pm
  • £8.00
  • Canterbury

Join us on the first leg of the Via Francigena which is the Pilgrim Route from Canterbury to Rome, and one of the Council of Europe’s older and more established Cultural Routes.

After a blessing at the Zero stone, our journey will take in the three elements of the Canterbury World Heritage Site, the Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church, where there will be a brief stop before we set off out of the suburbs of Canterbury towards Patrixbourne with refreshments and a short talk about the fascinating and ancient St Mary’s Church.   The Church is renowned for its Norman architecture, particularly the fine South Door and Wheel Window and for its Swiss Stained Glass.

From Patrixbourne, our journey takes us through fields, before arriving at Womenswold, where we till stop for lunch at the Church of St Margaret of Antioch, and then on to the last leg of the walk through rolling open countryside to Shepherdswell and St Andrew’s Church.  We will return to Canterbury by train, arriving at Canterbury East, where we can walk back around the City walls to St Paul’s Church and the Pilgrim Supper (for those who would like to join the pilgrim feast, please register here).

The walk is fairly easy, on well-established paths of the Elham Valley walk and North Downs Way, and it will be a relaxed and informative day, with plenty of opportunities to stop, and to get to know fellow pilgrims.

Lead: Catherine Lloyd, Catherine Lloyd, former Green Pilgrimage Officer with the Diocese of Canterbury, Canterbury resident, and European Cultural Route enthusiast.  She will be bringing her famous flapjacks, which are guaranteed to boost energy levels along the way!
Distance: 12 miles
Date: 15 June 2019
Time: 08:45 – 17:00 (you will be back in time for the Pilgrims Feast if you wish to join – booking required)
Meet: Zero Kilometre Stone by the West Door of Canterbury Cathedral
Price: £8.00 – this will include your Via Francigena Passport, your train ticket from Shepherdswell back to Canterbury, and a simple lunch at Womenswold.
Note: Please bring some change for donations for teas and coffees at our other stops.  The weather should be lovely, but you can never tell, so please come with sturdy comfortable footwear, sunscreen, a hat, and a waterproof coat, to cover all eventualities!

This event is being held as part of The Canterbury Pilgrims Festival, organised by The Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome and supported by The Kent Downs AONB in celebration of their 50th anniversary.

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