THE Church Times, in partnership with Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, this week announced the inaugural Festival of Pilgrimage, to take place in Oxford in September.
The festival coincides with the national Year of Pilgrimage, designated by the Association of English Cathedrals. Confirmed speakers include the Archbishop of York-designate, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, and the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher. Both have written extensively on pilgrimage.
The Festival, which runs from the afternoon of Sunday 13 September to the afternoon of Tuesday 15 September, will combine reflection on the theological and practical aspects of pilgrimage. There will be case studies from those who have created pilgrim paths or led pilgrimages, and the Revd Sally Welch, one of the organisers, will lead a session entitled “Everything you wanted to know about pilgrimage but were afraid to ask.”
Other speakers are: the Chancellor of Durham Cathedral, Canon Charlie Allen; the Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford, Dr Sarah Foot; the Director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity and the Centre of Pilgrimage Studies in York, Dr Dee Dyas; the Dean of St David’s Cathedral, the Very Revd Sarah Rowland Jones; a former Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard; and the Baroque violinist Paul Giger.
The Dean of Christ Church, the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, who will also appear at the festival, said this week: “Christian pilgrimage was a staple feature of our life as a nation for many centuries. . .
“In the 21st century, many Christians are rediscovering the power of pilgrimage, and how it can enhance and transform our spiritual lives and prayer. This festival is offered to all those seeking to develop their faith as pilgrim people.
“We hope that all who come will be engaged, enriched, and empowered in their walk with God, and in the company of other pilgrims seeking and encountering God.”
The Church Times Festival of Christian Pilgrimage follows the sell-out Church Times Festival of Preaching, which is also held at Christ Church (Features, 20 September 2019).
Tickets are now on sale, with discounts for early-bird bookings. See pilgrimage.hymnsam.co.uk for more details and bookings.