Recently rediscovered on a 14th Century map, the Old Way is an ancient pilgrimage route running between Southampton and Canterbury. The British Pilgrimage Trust is developing and launching this route in 2020 to coincide with the 800th anniversary of Thomas Becket’s ‘translation’ in Canterbury Cathedral (and the 850th anniversary of his death). Apuldram, in the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is perfectly situated to accommodate pilgrims walking the Old Way. We aim to make our new Church Room pilgrim-ready, and to recruit a part-time person to manage this accommodation for the estimated 500-800 pilgrims walking this route yearly.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
With increased leisure time people are seeking new ways to enjoy themselves and walking is a healthy and interesting way of doing this for individuals and families. The story of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, with its murder, miracles and pilgrimages, was a major event in British history. Re-establishing the Old Way as an open pilgrimage route will help people reconnect with this heritage. The project will also bring visitors to this beautiful area of West Sussex, with the associated economic benefits for local businesses, and of course Chichester. Pilgrims are low-impact tourists, who seek to enjoy the quietness, natural beauty and sense of journeying through ancient undisturbed Britain. The project will also provide additional revenue for this Grade 1 listed building, enabling St Mary's to remain an open church and continue to play a key role in meeting the needs of the community for many years to come.
Steps to get it done:
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