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British Pilgrimage Trust looking for "test walkers"

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Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Just spotted this: the BPT is looking for pilgrims to test walk their cathedral day pilgrimage routes!

Here's a list of the walks in question. After you've finished, they'd like you to send an email with information about:

Transport;
Route Quality;
Path Condition/Functionality;
Opening Times of Places;
Timings and Rhythm of the Day;
List of holy places visited and any comments;
Tips from Locals;
Lunch stops (indoor and outdoor);
Dinner Stops;
Loo stops;
Places for stopping for a beautiful, short rest;
Photos (please send to us).
Anything else?
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Maybe people who live nearby can still get out and walk these short portions. (I still go out walking, since I can do so from my house, without making contact with other people. If I meet someone on the walk, it is easy to stay 2 m away.)

In any case, this website provides a great starting point for studying more routes and history, even if the sites are not open for visitors. We need to keep ourselves occupied.
 

Kevin Malinak

-kevin-
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, St Jean PdP, March 18 (2018)
Just spotted this: the BPT is looking for pilgrims to test walk their cathedral day pilgrimage routes!

Here's a list of the walks in question. After you've finished, they'd like you to send an email with information about:

Transport;
Route Quality;
Path Condition/Functionality;
Opening Times of Places;
Timings and Rhythm of the Day;
List of holy places visited and any comments;
Tips from Locals;
Lunch stops (indoor and outdoor);
Dinner Stops;
Loo stops;
Places for stopping for a beautiful, short rest;
Photos (please send to us).
Anything else?
I would love to do this, but would be most likely to do it if these walks could be joined together towards a convenient crossing point into France... Certainly not right away, but yes when the world gets back to reasonable state. Blessings, -kevin-
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
hmmmm ....

BPT :

We believe that ‘holistic wellbeing’ includes physical, mental, emotional, social, environmental and spiritual health, and we aim to make these benefits accessible to wide new audiences. The BPT believes that pilgrimage has the potential to promote community and diversity in Britain’s spiritual landscape.
The BPT believes that pilgrimage in Britain today should not attempt to imitate Medieval forms of religious exclusivity. Instead, we are aiming to renew the tradition to fit with modern needs. To this end, the BPT aims to help pilgrimage become a spiritual activity that is open to all, whatever your beliefs, background, age or physical ability.
I'm sure they mean well, but stripping pilgrimage of its specifically religious heritage is pretty basically to engage in the touristification and commercialisation that so many of us complain about.

And whilst there are some interesting routes in their "catalogue", the routes through Britain towards Canterbury itself, plus beyond there to Rome, Jerusalem, Santiago ; and the various different Camino routes via whichever port and then maritime crossing whether to France or Spain seem to be rather conspicuously absent.

Such as for instance :





... including the major York - Lincoln - (Ely) - London - Canterbury/Newhaven route.




They don't even have this one :


 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Anything that gets people outside and walking is a good thing, and who cares if it's authentic? It's 2020, not 1350. Anyway to be totally authentic, shall we have an outbreak of the plague too? On top of the 100 years war and the peasant's revolt? 🙃
 
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SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
hmmmm ....

BPT :

I'm sure they mean well, but stripping pilgrimage of its specifically religious heritage is pretty basically to engage in the touristification and commercialisation that so many of us complain about.
It will be a reassurance to them that you think they mean well.

I applaud everyone who will walk local roads , pilgrimage or not, after this Covid crisis is over. Some money in local economy surely is a good thing.
It's not like it will be Benidorm in high season so " touristification " is highly unlikely.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
The British Pilgrimage Trust, founded by Will Parsons and Guy Hayward, made it clear from the start that they want to stimulate a pilgrimage tradition in Britain, ie not a Saint James pilgrimage tradition and not a European pilgrimage tradition which is why roads leading to channel ports are not high on their lists of destinations; that they want to encourage the participation of everyone, from devout Christians to committed atheists and everyone in between or on the side; they encourage people to "bring your own beliefs" and walk to a holy place which they understand to include not only cathedrals and churches but also prehistoric burial sites, ancient trees, river confluences, hilltops.

“Lots of people simply want to connect with the natural world at a pace at which you can appreciate it. In 'normal' life, our minds are speeding up while our bodies are staying put. Here, the mind and the body can meet up.”

Sounds familiar?
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
"bring your own beliefs" and walk to a holy place which they understand to include not only cathedrals and churches but also prehistoric burial sites, ancient trees, river confluences, hilltops.

“Lots of people simply want to connect with the natural world at a pace at which you can appreciate it. In 'normal' life, our minds are speeding up while our bodies are staying put. Here, the mind and the body can meet up.”
That all are welcome with their own beliefs and points of view and whatnot on these pilgrimage routes is a given, but I've yet to see any positive outcome from any attempts here or there to specifically exclude the religious sphere and replace it with the "spiritual".

And I don't mean in purely philosophical terms, but in the practical. And this IMO has been the core of the commercialisation and touristification. These aren't even bad things in and of themselves, we all need to make our way in this fashion or that, but I am not at all keen on this apparent desire they have to try and ditch all Tradition and replace it with the "holistic".
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
Anyway, on the more practical aspects and in view of some earlier comments: the approach taken by the authorities is not the same in every country or every region in Europe. They adapt their measures to the changing conditions. So check what applies to where you are. In some countries/regions with fairly severe "lock down" conditions, people are encouraged to go out for a walk. Not in groups etc etc which is way I encourage everyone to check what applies to them and then comply. For example, I've lived in very strict self-isolation for over a week now and stayed within the confinement of house and garden although I could have gone out to shop for groceries, and I will now make use of the option to go for a walk in the spring sunshine.

If you live in the UK, check what is allowed/advised/encouraged/forbidden and maybe you will find that the suggestion made by @Jan_D in the first post is something to consider. It's more important than ever to stay as healthy as possible.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I am not at all keen on this apparent desire they have to try and ditch all Tradition and replace it with the "holistic".
Holistic.
Derived from Greek hólos "whole, complete;" relating to or concerned with complete systems rather than with individual parts. Or the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
(But you might have meant to use "humamistic."
Which also sounds pretty good to me. Common humanity and all that.)

I've yet to see any positive outcome from any attempts here or there to specifically exclude the religious sphere and replace it with the "spiritual".
Seriously!?
How about the thousands of people who return from the camino as better, happier, and more balanced people? And many of them are (gasp!) athiests.

Fundamentalism in any form is a prison and an enemy of peace.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Seriously!?
How about the thousands of people who return from the camino as better, happier, and more balanced people? And many of them are (gasp!) athiests.

Fundamentalism in any form is a prison and an enemy of peace.
As to your last, well, that goes both ways, and I cannot seem to remember ever suggesting that atheists should not go on pilgrimage nor whatever it is you imagine me to be saying (I was an agnostic on my first Camino and most of my second) ... (and I've had my say and will stop at that, though I did have to respond to that unfair "fundamentalism" personal comment)
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
Will Parsons, one of the two founders of the British Pilgrimage Trust, is in my (sparsely populated) FB news feed. I quote from a recent message which he had posted before the British prime minister informed yesterday evening that the UK will be in lockdown, too. I quote Will:

It is a time for planning pilgrimages and long journeys - but not time for making them. [...] So please - no matter how tempted you may be to wander freely in the hills, visiting isolated churches, don’t do it right now. Pilgrimage is almost the definition of non-essential travel. Especially pilgrimage to cathedrals, in urban environments. Let’s all step up to holding back. ... Perhaps it is time to experiment with 10-step meditative pilgrimages? Peace and good health to each one here.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
We can take ourselves way too seriously.
And our chosen spiritual practice can get taken especially seriously - and I'm pointing the finger at myself here, as much as anyone. Take on an identity as anything and it will weigh you down - besides being the source of all sorts of silly arguments.

Given what is going on in the world, I for one am going to try to lighten up. And I hope you can too, @JabbaPapa.
In the end we will all die. When we know that, and really get it...a lot falls away as just noise. Kindness matters, harmony matters. The rest? Not so much.

So hurrah for walks in the countryside. Someday people will be able to go out again on a spring day and walk with their brothers and sisters in the sun. And the BPT works to make that accessible to everyone. All good.
I hope that when lockdowns are lifted, they'll have many willing testers.

(Just to think a few months ago I was grizzling about needing to head to the UK to walk one of these paths. Sigh. The world has changed.)
 
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