St Frideswide Pilgrimage

We’re delighted to invite you to join our next St Frideswide Pilgrimage on Saturday 16 October.

Many will have taken part in our inaugural pilgrimage in 2019. Sadly the pandemic made it impossible to run the event last year, so we are especially pleased to be able to invite you to return to the Cathedral in 2021.

People have always gone on journeys to enrich their spiritual lives. The desire seems deeply ingrained in human nature. Pilgrimage can be away of nurturing and sustaining our inner life - and helping us to become a more ‘contemplative’ Church.

Christians have felt drawn to pray at the Shrine of St Frideswide for many centuries. Indeed, the priory of which our Cathedral was part was an important destination for medieval pilgrims.

And today, pilgrimage is enjoying something of a boom. We’ve slimmed down the event to reflect post-Covid times. We are still offering a range of guided walks of varying lengths, bringing pilgrims in to the city of Oxford from all points of the compass and all corners of the Diocese.

Numbers will be smaller, however, to ensure we can gather safely as life still seems a little uncertain. Please make sure that you book! So do consider joining us, whether you are a seasoned pilgrim, or entirely new to the idea. Just come with a pilgrim spirit.

More details below. Please be aware that booking is essential. A limited number of tickets for non-walkers will be available from Monday 6 September

St Frideswide Pilgrimage

What is the St Frideswide Pilgrimage?

We held our inaugural diocesan St Frideswide Pilgrimage on Saturday 19 October 2019. For a full report, see the diocesan website. The event is timed to coincide as closely as possible with the saint's day, which is 19 October.

In 2020 it was not possible to hold a gathered pilgrimage because of the pandemic. However the St Frideswide Pilgrimage 2021 will go ahead on Saturday 16 October in a carefully managed way. We are really pleased to invite parishioners from across the Diocese we serve to come to their Cathedral on this special occasion. 

How do I take part?

In order to take part, you must pre-book a ticket. You will need to choose a walking route when you do so. There are five options of varying lengths. For the safety of all, there is limit of just 25 walkers per route under the guidance of an experienced leader.

Timetable

Route A: North North Oxford to the Cathedral (1.5 miles) 2pm Meet at St Margaret’s Church OX2 6RX

Route B: East Barton to the Cathedral (4 miles) 12.45pm Meet at St Mary’s Church, Barton OX3 9EY

Route C: West Cumnor to the Cathedral (5 miles) 12.30pm Meet at St Michael’s Church, Cumnor OX2 9QN

Route D: Thames Path North Swinford to the Cathedral (7 miles) 11am Meet at the Thames Path below Swinford Toll Bridge OX29 4BY NB there is NO parking anywhere nearby

Route E: Thames Path South Abingdon to the Cathedral (9 miles) 10am Meet on the Thames Path beneath Abingdon Bridge OX14 3HX

We are releasing a limited number of tickets for non walkers on Monday 6 September

What will be happening at the Cathedral?

We look forward to welcoming pilgrims for reflection and refreshment when they reach the Cathedral. Your ticket will indicate a time for you to have tea.

2pm Prayer stations available in the Cathedral

From 2.30pm Tea in the Great Hall (nonwalkers only)

From 3.30pm Tea in the Great Hall (for walkers)

5pm St Frideswide Pilgrimage Service (approximately 45 minutes)

I can't walk that far. Can I still come?

Yes! We are offering a small number of tickets for nonwalkers to come and take part in the Pilgrimage too. A limited number of tickets will be issued on Monday 6 September. Again, booking will be essential. Keep an eye on the Eventbrite page in case we are able to release more tickets in the future.

What about Covid and other safety concerns?

The routes have been chosen to offer a range of distances and difficulties. Please think carefully how far you are comfortably able to walk and bear in mind that some of the routes have stiles.

Each route will be guided by an experienced pilgrimage group leader, and there will be pauses for reflection at various points along the way. Risk assessments will be carried out, paying particular regard to the most up-to-date Covid security guidelines. While every effort will be made to keep everyone safe, please be aware that you are walking at your own risk.

Numbers are being kept low to ensure the Cathedral does not become overcrowded. We will be monitoring the situation closely and will make necessary adjustments if we need to.

Anything else I need to know?

Please note that there is no parking at the Cathedral. We regret that we are not able to provide transport to and from the start and end points of the routes. You may find it easiest to park in a public car park in Oxford, and take public transport back to your starting point. Otherwise you may like to consider lift shares with friends.