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Pilgrims Follow in the Footsteps of St Paulinus

St Paulinus Pilgrimage 65 Mile Route from Todmorden to York

Monday 22nd August 2011

On Sunday 28 August, walkers will set out across Yorkshire on a newly discovered pilgrimage trail that will retrace the footsteps of the 6th century saint, Paulinus all the way to York...

These modern day pilgrims – some from as far away as Sweden and New Zealand  - will launch the first pilgrimage along the Paulinus Way next Sunday (28 Aug) when they leave Todmorden for the seven day trek along the 65 mile route through Halifax, Dewsbury, Wakefield, Leeds and Tadcaster to be greeted at the end by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu  in York Minster on Sunday 4 September.

This new pilgrimage trail is the culmination of a three-year project by teacher and academic Tina Clayton, from Todmorden into the little-known figure of St Paulinus, the first Bishop of York, who converted many northern Britons to Christianity in the early seventh century.

Tina became intrigued to find out which route Paulinus had taken between Whalley in Lancashire and Dewsbury in Yorkshire and couldn’t believe it when she identified a stone cross in the hamlet of Shore, above Cornholme, as one of the Paulinus crosses.

Tina said: “I just want to be in the footsteps of this man I’ve spent so long with and get a sense of his commitment and faith.”

Churches and chapels along the route will open their doors to offer refreshments and overnight accommodation for these 21st century pilgrims, who will write a daily blog and use Twitter and Facebook to report on their progress. And they will take along copies of the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard’s recently published book, Pocket Prayers for Pilgrims, to mark his year long pilgrim project visiting 15 places of special spiritual significance across the Oxford diocese.

Tina and her illustrator and calligrapher husband, Stuart Clayton, have now put together a book and created 14 route maps that walkers, drivers, cyclists and even canal boaters can follow and together with fellow congregation members from St Mary’s Church, Todmorden – the official start of the new Paulinus Way -  they have organised a three-day medieval-themed festival in the town over the bank holiday weekend to mark the opening of the new trail which includes exhibitions, competitions, art, music, flowers, food, street entertainment, a free community feast, as well as the launch of the Paulinus Way route maps and book.

 Tina said: “When you’re creating a pilgrim way it needs more than a map and a determined pilgrim. Without the support of the church and our vicar, Revd Owen Page and the hard work of the team, the Paulinus Way would not have happened,”she added.”

The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten who will meet the pilgrims in York for the Communion Service in the Minster, said, “Tina Clayton and her team have put such a lot of work in the organisation of this pilgrimage. They will be following in the steps of countless Christians who through the centuries have made similar journeys. I greatly look forward to greeting them, with the Archbishop, at York Minster on their arrival and wish them God’s speed!”

 Anyone can join the pilgrims along the route and there is an open invitation to join them at Museum Gardens in York on Sunday September 4. They will be leaving at 9am to make the final part of the journey to the Minster where they will be greeted by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu before a Communion service at 10am.

 You can follow the pilgrims on Twitter: and Facebook:

You can read the blog at:, or on the websites of Wakefield Diocese:, and the Church of England:

 The pilgrims will make overnight stops at:

St Michael’s Church Mytholmroyd                Sunday 28th August

Halifax Minster                                               Monday 29th

Dewsbury Minster                                          Tuesday 30th

Wakefield Cathedral                                       Wednesday 31st

Headingley Methodist Church                       Thursday 1st September

St Mary’s Church Tadcaster                           Friday 2nd

York Central Methodist Chapel                     Saturday 3rd

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