Could you be a Bradford Pilgrim Pioneer?

Bradford Cathedral is supporting the British Pilgrimage Trust’s campaign to improve pilgrim routes to the country’s cathedrals

Visitors to Bradford Cathedral can get a stamp and sticker in their Pilgrim Passport!

In 2020, a collaboration between the Association of English Cathedrals and the British Pilgrimage Trust saw the creation of one-day walking routes to all 42 cathedrals in England – plus some churches in Wales too.

Now, eighteen months on, visitors are being asked to test walk the routes that lead to each of these Cathedrals.

Anybody who uses the routes to walk to a cathedral are being asked to share their tips and recommendations with fellow pilgrims to make the routes the best they can be.

Most routes take in established wayfarer paths, others places of faith, spiritual pathways and lesser known pilgrim ways, and all the routes are available to download onto a digital map app and can be found on the British Pilgrimage Trust website.

There are two routes towards Bradford Cathedral: one from Halifax Minster, and a second from Dewsbury Minster. You can discover maps for these routes on the British Pilgrimage Trust website, as well as download GPX files for your smartphone or smartwatch, alongside offering your thoughts on the routes.

A special feedback button has been added to the route webpages where you can give the British Pilgrimage Trust tips about the condition of the paths, recommended loo or café stops, feedback on the route quality and possible variations and the ease rating of the route, and other practical details, with which they will then update the website.

Guy Hayward of the British Pilgrimage Trust says:
“The British Pilgrimage Trust needs YOU! 

“We are dependent on grass roots support and initiative by locals that love their land to maintain the pilgrim routes of Britain. As you can imagine, the state of footpaths and amenities change each year, therefore annual audits are required to keep a project like this one up-to-date. 

“This wonderful network of cathedral day routes has been running for almost two years now, and it’s time for a spruce up… fill in our Google form and we will be forever grateful, and may also want to work with you further in the future, if you are keen. By stepping out onto these paths, you will get the satisfaction of trailblazing for many pilgrims who will get much joy from following in your footsteps.”

Alongside these two walking routes, you can also be a pilgrim in other ways, including with the national Cathedrals Cycle Route, with routes available between all the Cathedrals in England for budding cyclists to tackle. There are also routes and trails connected to Bradford Cathedral, including a 12-mile walk between Bradford and Ilkley and a local 3.5-mile Tranquillity Trail, that takes in some peaceful areas just outside the city centre.

Pilgrims are welcome to come to Bradford Cathedral and to explore the history of the building, and visitors during its opening hours can get their Pilgrim Passport stamped and stickered, with passports available to buy from the Cathedral Office for £5 for those without one.

You can see the two routes to Bradford Cathedral on the British Pilgrimage Trust website at https://britishpilgrimage.org/portfolio/bradford-cathedral-pilgrimage-in-a-day/, and on that page is a green button that allows you to leave feedback on the route.

You can also find out about the Cathedrals Cycle Route on the Bradford Cathedral website at https://bradfordcathedral.org/visit/cathedrals-cycle-route/ and more about other routes and trails at https://bradfordcathedral.org/visit/pilgrimages.

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