Derbyshire Pilgrims Complete 100mile Triple Cathedral Walk to Worcester, Gloucester & Hereford Cathedrals on their way to toilets, kitchen and a warm space for 12th Century Church

10 million steps is a long way to the loo!


Rev Richard Tucker will arrive in Hereford Cathedral on Friday 10th May having walked over 100 miles with his brother-in-law Rob Barclay as part of the ‘Pommie Pilgrimage’, a walk to all 42 Anglican Cathedrals in England to raise money for toilets, kitchen facilities and a warm space in Youlgrave’s Norman Church.

The ‘Pommie Pilgrimage’ (named for the sound of the village band) began on Palm Sunday with the first walk through the Peak District to Derby Cathedral. Chester Cathedral was reached on 17th April via canals and byways by Kate Heath Pommie Pilgrimage founder. Richard started his personal pilgrimage from Birmingham on Sunday with a blessing from Canon Andy Delmege (pictured) and is walking via the Three Choirs Way from Worcester to Gloucester and then Hereford Cathedrals.
Rob Barclay is a direct descendent of the 19th century infamous pedestrian Robert Barclay Alladice, a notable Scottish walker, who was most famous for walking 1000miles in 1000hours for 1000 guineas. He was considered the father of pedestrianism, the pre-curser to race walking. He would have been proud of his great great great…. Grandson!

Richard said: “The Pommie Pilgrimage is a chance for me to follow two passions of mine: Making historic churches fit for the 21st century and walking in the beautiful English countryside. I served in the Birmingham diocese for many years, so it was a natural route to choose, and I’m delighted to be walking alongside my brother-in-law Rob Barclay, who lives and farms in Worcestershire and is a seasoned long-distance walker.”     

All Saints Church in the Peak District village of Youlgrave is a Grade One listed building and featured in Simon Jenkins’ book ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’. Spaces such as this provide a vital lifeline for the whole population at some of the most important times in our lives. At present all including the young and elderly have to cross a busy road to go to the toilet. There have been embarrassing and unfortunate accidents resulting in dedicated members of the congregation never setting foot in the church again. 
“We really didn’t know where to start with the huge task of modernising our church, so we went for a walk and had a think….” Kate Heath, pilgrim and avid walker who has walked the whole of the English coast path over the last three years. Pilgrimage is traditionally defined as journeying with purpose, on foot, to a holy place. It is not peculiar to Christianity but is a significant part of most faith traditions. To allow less intrepid villagers and visitors to the village to contribute to the pilgrimage, a labyrinth has been mowed into a local meadow and was opened on World Labyrinth Day. 

The Pommie Pilgrimage will create a unique network of footsteps linking Youlgrave with all forty-two Anglican Cathedrals in England. The walkers plan to raise £42,000 towards All Saints’ renovations, the full cost of which is still being researched. Cathedral clergy are being invited to welcome pilgrims as they arrive and share in a service as well as making use of the facilities.

“Our hope to connect Youlgrave with each Cathedral in the country via pilgrimage is a huge challenge and feels like an impossible task, but one step at a time, together, we’ll get there. We’re not expecting to raise this amount of money by being sponsored a penny a mile, but if you’re able to spend more than a penny for our loos, please do get in touch.” Rev Canon Jane Clay, chair of the Pommie Pilgrimage organising group.

Hereford Cathedral is thrilled to extend a warm welcome to congregational members from All Saints', Youlgrave, in the Derbyshire Peak District.

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