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Following in the footsteps of the Worcester Pilgrim, by Bishop John

In 1987 the remains of a 15th Century pilgrim were discovered at the base of the tower of Worcester Cathedral. We know he was a pilgrim because he was buried with a staff and a cockleshell. The cockleshell was carried by medieval pilgrims (of which there were thousands) to Santiago in Spain, to the site where tradition has it that Jesus’s disciple St James is buried.

My wife, H-J, and I decided to follow in the Worcester Pilgrim’s footsteps but use bicycles. We have just returned from cycling over 1000km on the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago from the Pyrenees. That route is known as ‘the Camino’, ‘the way’. Whilst on it we passed thousands of modern-day pilgrims from all over Europe and beyond. Since we were cycling, we generally went a bit faster than the walkers. Every time we passed someone, we greeted each other: ‘Buen Camino’. There’s no adequate English translation of that salutation but it’s a wonderful one. I suppose ‘go well’ is probably the nearest.

Read on…

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