The Camino Pilgrim Group aims to harness the power of Christian Pilgrimage to encourage and develop a greater personal self-awareness, an awakening of the spirit, an appreciation of God’s creation, a sense of harmony with nature, a bond with strangers and with fellow pilgrims.
We do this in two ways:
Camino to Santiago de Compostela: A 9 or 10-day pilgrimage each September, walking through the Galician region of northern Spain towards the beautiful and ancient city of Santiago de Compostela, reputed to be the final resting place of St James the Apostle. The magnificent Cathedral in Santiago draws thousands of pilgrims to its doors each year to worship at the Shrine to St James.
Since we started in 2014, more than 160 people have walked the Camino with our group. Many are from our own Parish, with others from neighbouring parishes: mostly practising Christians but with some who are not; some from other Christian denominations; some of other faiths, and a few who have yet to discover a faith.
People choose to go on pilgrimage for different reasons:
- to travel to new places as tourists
- to get away from the of stress of modern living
- to experience the freedom of a simpler life
- to find peace and solitude, but also companionship
- to search for a deeper spirituality and personal understanding
- to move closer to God: to give thanks, to seek healing, to pray
Many return home changed for ever, with a fresh outlook on life, determined to live differently, perhaps with some personal troubles at last put into perspective.
Walking the St James Way: A 6-stage pilgrimage from St James Church/Reading Abbey to Southampton, an ancient embarkation port for pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela.
The group walks on Saturdays, spaced at intervals from late March to early July. The route, via Winchester, is well established and passes along good paths with the terrain presenting few challenges.
We pause at places of historic or religious significance, with local guides at some to provide information or tours. The route eventually meets up with the River Itchen which we follow to our destination.
The St James Way, as well as being a great standalone pilgrimage, is a useful way of training for the Camino to Santiago de Compostela!
Why not try one or both the pilgrimages we offer? Please get in touch for more information from the Parish Office. We’d really love to hear from you!