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Visitors to cathedrals to have ‘Pilgrim Passports’

21 February 2020

ENGLISH CATHEDRALS

CATHEDRALS are offering visitors Pilgrim Passports to celebrate the Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage 2020 project.

The passport-sized booklets, published by the Association of English Cathedrals and distributed this week, contain quotes, pilgrim poems, and prayers, a checklist of cathedrals by region, and blank pages for visitors to record their thoughts and have their passport stamped at each cathedral or holy place they visit.

The passports are available to buy online and in each of the 42 C of E cathedrals in Britain, as well as at St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire, and the Cathedral Isle of Man. Special stickers can also be purchased.

Jackie Holderness, of Christ Church, Oxford, worked with Sarah Page, from Portsmouth Cathedral, to create the passports. The idea was to encourage visitors of all ages to experience their trip as a pilgrimage.

Ms Holderness explained: “Many cathedrals seek to engage with visitors on a deeper, spiritual level, so that even if they have arrived as tourists and strangers, they may feel pilgrims when they leave. We want all our visitors to develop and grow their own pilgrim heart.”

Dr Dee Dyas, who is director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture and also director of pilgrimage studies at York University, said: “All of us can relate to seeing our lives as a journey, enhanced by special places with special meaning. Cathedrals . . . offer peace, beauty, and a chance to pause and reflect along the way. The new Pilgrim Passport encourages everyone to find their own meaning though visiting these amazing buildings.”

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