New pilgrim routes launched in one of Britain's busiest holiday destinations


Pilgrimage routes linking historic churches and ancient holy sites in one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations have been launched as part of a Church of England-funded project.

Devon Pilgrim offers people the chance to “take a journey of the heart” on routes which include Dartmoor and the ancient seat of the bishops of Exeter at Crediton.

Each pilgrimage is divided into sections which start and end at a church, so they can be walked in one go over several days or in shorter segments.

The churches all have a ‘pilgrim corner’ with prayers and meditations for people to engage with and a pilgrim stamp for walkers to mark their progress in specially designed Pilgrim Passports.

The Bishop of Exeter, Robert Atwell, said “We associate pilgrimage with the medieval world but in our generation, we have rediscovered its grace.

“People of all backgrounds are walking the ancient paths and, in so doing, entering upon a journey of the heart.

“Many of them are discovering that God walks with them in their life.”

Devon Pilgrim is part of Growing the Rural Church, a Diocese of Exeter project to help rural churches to be sustainable for the future and to engage with their local communities creatively.

It is supported by a £1m Church of England Strategic Development Fund grant.

Sarah Cracknell, Growing the Rural Church Project Manager, said “Pilgrimage is having a resurgence, whether it is the Celtic idea of the inner journey or the medieval tradition of travelling to a specific place to seek help or ask for direction.”

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