We have been working with Professor Catherine A.M. Clarke on the St Thomas Way project, a new heritage tourism trail from Swansea to Hereford. The website will launch on Saturday 7 July alongside the launch event here at the cathedral. With so much interest in the project already, Professor Clarke has shared four teaser articles with us to give more background to the project.

Going on Pilgrimage…

Pilgrimage to saints’ shrines and holy places was hugely popular in medieval Europe. In the case of saints, people wanted to get close to their relics, which it was believed had healing power.

Pilgrimage traditions included bringing wax votive models to the shrine. These would have been a common site at the shrine of St Thomas in Hereford Cathedral. If you had a limp, you might bring a model of a leg; if you wanted a safe voyage, you might bring a model of a ship. When King Edward I’s beloved pet falcon fell ill, he had a wax model made and brought to the shrine of St Thomas to seek his help.

Another medieval pilgrimage tradition was the collection of pilgrim badges, to show which shrines or places pilgrims had visited. You can share in this tradition with the new St Thomas Way, which gives you the chance to win a virtual badge for each location on the route.

Today, many people enjoy the health, wellbeing and renewal benefits of pilgrimage. For some, it is a religious experience; for others, a time for reflection and discovery. With the new St Thomas Way, we invite you to ‘Bring Your Own Beliefs’ and enjoy the journey.

The St Thomas Way will launch here at Hereford Cathedral on Saturday 7 July with a day of fun, free activities. To find out more about the event click here.To keep up to date with the latest news you can follow the project on Twitter @StThomasWay