Chad Pilgrims push on towards Lichfield

Published: 6th December 2021


A 475-mile pilgrimage in the footsteps of Lichfield’s first bishop, St Chad, is making good progress as it approaches the Midlands.

It is part of a range of activities – including the unveiling of the St Chad statue in the new Hope Garden at Lichfield Cathedral – to mark the 1,350th anniversary of St Chad’s death in 672.

The trek spans the two ancient kingdoms of Northumbria and Mercia and is being walked in stages. The first group of pilgrims left Lindisfarne Priory on Holy Island at dawn on Sunday 4 July. Since then they have covered almost 350 miles. The walkers are carrying with them a portable reproduction of part of the 8th Century Lichfield Gospel which they have been leaving at various destinations at the end of each stage, giving a sense of continuity, as well as helping to build connections with churches and communities along the way. The gospel facsimile is currently in the safekeeping of St Mary’s Church, Barton upon Humber.

People are warmly invited to join the final 125-mile distance which is set to enter the East Midlands in February, arriving at Lichfield on 1 March – the day before St Chad’s Day.

Walk organiser Ann Fisher said: “We have walked through wonderful and varied landscapes, including empty expanses of dunes and sandy beaches on the Northumberland coast; industrial and post-industrial landscapes around the Tyne, Tees, Wear and Humber; leafy river valleys and misty and desolate moorland between Whitby and York.


“We have sought rest and sanctuary  in a variety of places - cathedrals, minsters, churches, ruined abbeys, woodlands, garden centres, golf clubs, ice cream parlours and even a bird hide; experienced a lot of "weather" (this is England after all); made some wonderful connections with people and places, past and present; walked, talked, laughed, sung, wept, prayed, contemplated, endured aches, pains, blisters and damp feet, sunk deep into ourselves, received blessings,  and let go of things that were ready to be released. And we have learned so much - about Celtic saints and spirituality, geology, botany, zoology, engineering, technology and archaeology.

“Thank you to everyone who has been part of the journey so far, whether by walking stretches of the route in person, or through your support and encouragement via emails, texts, prayers and phone calls - it is hugely appreciated.”

Walkers are encouraged to join one, some, or all (!) of the remaining stages below.  Email to find out more.


10 - 12 December 2021

10th Barton-upon-Humber to Saxby All Saints  13 miles

11th Saxby All Saints to Hibaldstow                 12 miles

12th Hibaldstow to Northorpe                            7 miles

21 - 23 January 2022 

21st  Northorpe to Gainsborough                        10 miles

22nd Gainsborough to Torksey                           10 miles

23rd  Torksey to Fledborough                               7 miles

10 - 13 February 2022

10th  Fledborough to Norwell                                10 miles

11th  Norwell to Southwell                                     8 miles (allowing time to visit the Minster)

12th  Southwell to East Bridgford                          10 miles

13th  East Bridgford to West Bridgford                   10 miles

25 Feb - 1 March 2022

25th West Bridgford to Trentlock                             9 miles

26th Trentlock to Melbourne                                   12.5 miles

27th Melbourne to Burton                                       11 miles

28th  Burton to Alrewas                                          10.5 miles

1st  Alrewas to Lichfield Cathedral                           6.5 miles


Page last updated: Tuesday 7th December 2021 8:56 AM
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