New pilgrimage route launched linking historic churches on the Gower peninsula
A new Welsh pilgrimage route has been launched, linking all 17 historic churches on the Gower peninsula.
The Gower Pilgrimage Way is a new 50-mile route, which has been developed by the Church in Wales, with an emphasis on walking and cycling, together with encouragement to use public transport, which it is hoped will promote sustainable tourism and also provide a boost to local businesses.
The churches along the route will be open to all and bilingual information panels are being installed in the church grounds to enhance the experience for visitors.
The English-language website for the route has already launched at www.gowerpilgrimageway.org and contains detailed maps and directions for both walking and cycling.
It is suitable for use on a mobile phone, and also provides online links to further information on the history and features of the churches.
A Welsh-language version is currently under development and will be available by the summer.
The Facebook groups, ‘Gower Pilgrimage Way’ in English, and ‘Llwybr Pererindod Gwyr’ in Welsh, already have over 500 members, and will provide up-to-date news and an opportunity for users of to share photographs and experiences.
A walking and cycling booklet, detailing the route, will be available free of charge from the churches in Gower and from tourist outlets from May.
This will contain a ‘Pilgrim Passport’, which can be stamped at each church visited along the route, with each stamp having its own unique design.
Rev Justin Davies, the vicar of South West Gower, said, “Recent years have seen an upsurge in interest in pilgrimage routes and spirituality, both in the United Kingdom and around the world, and the Gower Pilgrimage Way is an exciting addition, which we are sure will attract visitors from local communities and from far afield”.
Organisers have also announced that a Gower Pilgrimage Festival will take place from 10 – 18 September, in conjunction with CADW’s Open Doors month, with guided walks, pilgrimage-themed services and other events for adults and children in the churches.
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