Pilgrimages Announced for 2023
Join us this summer for two pilgrimages linking Suffolk’s saints who brought alive the Christian inheritance which has shaped so much of our county’s cultural and architectural landscape.
The first is Saint Felix, the first Bishop of Dunwich, and the pilgrimage will run from 8-10 May. The route begins in Felixstowe at 9.00 am and the beautiful walk will include sections of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Path, and views of the River Orwell. You’ll stay overnight on the Ipswich Quayside. Day two will start at 9.00 am with briefing and prayers at St Mary at the Elms church in the old quarter of Ipswich, before the second day of the pilgrimage which ends in the outskirts to Stowmarket. The route is partly along the Gipping Valley in beautiful undulating Suffolk countryside.
The final day will follow well-marked footpaths passing through Onehouse, Harlston, Drinkstone, Hessett and Rougham, with the aim to arrive at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in time for a special Choral Evensong at 5.30 pm.
The second pilgrimage will honour Saint Botolph and runs from 3 – 7 July. It begins at Dunwich and takes pilgrims on the Suffolk Coast Path past Snape, to Iken and the Church of St Botolph. The following days will journey through Ufford, Claydon, and the Gipping Valley path. Day five will bring the pilgrims to St Edmundsbury Cathedral to finish with Evensong.
These pilgrimages follow two from last year that were designed as part of Bury St Edmunds’ Abbey 1000 celebrations. In 1020, King Canute had a stone church built for Edmund’s body; this was the beginning of the Abbey of St Edmund. From this stone church, the Abbey grew and, in its heyday, the Abbey of St Edmund was one of the richest, largest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries in England. People came from all over Europe to visit the Shrine of Saint Edmund, who was the first Patron Saint of England. The Abbey became one of the most famous and wealthy pilgrimage locations in England, visited by royalty. With these new pilgrimage routes, we honour that age old tradition.
For more information on the Pilgrimages and to book, click here.