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Walk this Way

by Michael Ford last modified 28 Feb, 2020 08:54 PM

Bishop Karen is leading a pilgrimage to inaugurate the St Edward's Way - a permanent 30-mile pilgrimage route from Wareham to Shaftesbury.

The route, which will be waymarked by the Ramblers across Dorset, is named after St Edward, the boy King murdered at Corfe Castle and orginally buried at Wareham.

Later in 979, for political reasons, his body was moved to Shaftesbury Abbey where it became an object of pilgrimage – and wealth for the Abbey.

The 1000 year anniversary of this re-burial was celebrated in 1979 with a walk devised for that occasion, and led by the then Bishop of Sherborne Rt Revd John Kirkham, and Dr Geoffrey Tapper.

Last year there was an archaeological dig in the Abbey and surrounding area to try and understand more about the Abbey, whose influence spread far and wide. The results of that dig are still being analysed.

To inaugurate the walk as a pilgrimage way, between the 27th and 29th of March, Bishop Karen wants as many people as possible to join her for part or all of a re-walk of the 1979 route.

While it is hoped to walk mainly in the footsteps of Bishop John, there will be some changes, for example there was no Wareham by-pass in 1979!

Each day will be a walk of some 10 miles through varied countryside, each day starting at 9am and ending at 4pm.

Walkers are invited to bring packed lunches and wear suitable walking gear.

Friday 27th - Wareham to Winterborne Kingston
Saturday 28th - Winterborne Kingston to Shillingstone
Sunday 29th - Shillingstone to Shaftesbury.

Walkers will end by walking up Gold Hill to have some refreshment in the Town Hall before the Abbey and gardens are officially declared open for the season.

Please to find out more or to sign up for all or part of the pilgrimage.

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