Earlier this month, the British Pilgrimage Trust published a new book designed to highlight the great number of historic and often beautiful pilgrimage sites that still exist across Britain today. Many of these are linked by paths that are becoming increasingly popular as walking routes, used by people in search of wonderful walking regardless of religious affiliation.
It is great to find that Lyminge is featured as a four star site, one that for the authors stands out as a place that is significant not only in pure historical terms as an ancient site of pilgrimage, but also for the kind of spirit that they feel still lingers in the place. I am sure that those of you who know Lyminge churchyard and the surrounding area will not disagree with this assessment.
The Pathways to the Past project is given a mention, as is our new pilgrimage route the Royal Saxon Way which is also covered in the section in the book on Minster-in-Thanet, at one end of the route. Those of you who have walked the route will know that the other end is at Folkestone, which also features in the book not least because of the recent revelations about the bones of Queen Ethelburga’s niece St Eanswythe.
The British Pilgrimage Trust is at the forefront of promoting modern-day pilgrimage. They have worked extensively with English Heritage publicising historic routes and developing new routes across the country linking up historic religious sites, and this book is destined to become the go-to handbook for anyone interested in exploring holy sites across this island. I entirely agree with the quote on the book’s cover from Diarmaid MacCulloch, the well-known broadcaster and Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford: “Revel in the riches on offer”.
Further good news about the wider impact the project is making comes from the Long Distance Walkers Association. The August edition of their newsletter carries a feature on the Royal Saxon Way and features three photographs taken on the route, two of which you can see in the picture below. So it seems fair to say that for pilgrims and indeed for walkers in general, Lyminge is now really on the map.