Group Leader: Fiona Busbridge

Set up in 2021, the group have organised many trips, including walks around Chipping Campden and Longborough as well as talks on pilgrimage in Gloucester, with many more planned!  Fiona is very happy to give practical pilgrims support and welcomes both CSJ members and non-members from other regional groups!

Email Fiona to find out more.

Latest updates / upcoming events

August 2023:

Our next walk is planned for Tuesday 5th September: A lovely walk along the River Windrush from Burford via Widford to Swinbrook (calling at their respective fascinating churches) where we will lunch at The Swan, a charming riverside pub. After lunch, members can either return to Burford by the same path (5 miles approx round trip) or continue on a circular route to Asthall and thence to Burford (9 miles approx round trip).

Meet at the magnificent parish church of St. John the Baptist, Burford at 10:30; free car park nearby. Please email Fiona ([email protected]) if you would like to join as a reservation at The Swan is essential.

July 2023:

St. Wulfstan Way Pilgrimage - Gt. Malvern Priory to Worcester Cathedral
Malvern once lay on the salt route over the hills which were a hideout for bandits and thieves, so
in 1075 the great Wulfstan of Worcester sent the hermit Aldwyn to become the first prior of
Malvern Priory, built as an effective bandit-repellent!

On Saturday, 10th June, a group of modern pilgrims (plus Alex, the dog) from the Confraternity of
St. James ( set out to walk the 11-mile Way in glorious sunshine and good spirits.
We were welcomed to Malvern Priory, rightly famous for its wonderful C15th stained glass, by the
Rev. Tony Whalley, who kindly gave us a blessing before seeing us off on our way. In good spirits,
we walked out of Malvern on the Three Choirs Way, passing Morgan Motors (a source of
considerable interest for some!) and through the small industrial estate via a sequence of narrow
footpaths, before reaching the fields leading to Madresfield.

Skirting the grounds of Madresfield Court, famous as the inspiration for Evelyn Waugh’s
Brideshead, we traversed lush pastures and woodland, climbing gently up to ‘Mount Joy’, the
vantage point on Old Hills where Worcester Cathedral first comes into view ahead, with Malvern,
nestling at the foot of the Malvern Hills behind; we could also spot Stanbrook Abbey and the
chimney of Powick Mill - what a wonderful tranquil panorama!

Descending the hill, we continued along the footpath between fields full of buttercups and cow
parsley to Stanbrook, where we skirted Stanbrook Abbey, a large late Victorian convent, now an
hotel. Once more following field boundaries, we passed an amusing litter of lively Gloucester Old
Spot piglets before crossing asparagus fields to reach St. Peter’s, Powick.

Here we were greeted by the churchwarden Janet, who had laid on hot and cold drinks for us,
which were very welcome indeed. Rev. Gary Crellin joined us and told us, while we ate our
picnics, about the church’s interesting history. Then he ushered us outside to show us the musket
ball pockmarks on the tower wall, sustained during the Civil War, before giving us an unusual and
amusing blessing: as he felt his pilgrim shell to be a somewhat inadequate means of distributing
holy water, Gary had loaded his water pistol which did the job admirably, with the added bonus of
cooling us all down!

Greatly refreshed and reinvigorated, we said our grateful farewells and continued on our way,
crossing the River Teme by the late mediaeval Old Powick Bridge, of strategic significance in the
Civil War. Traversing the 1651 main field of battle, we walked on the Monarch’s Way by the river -
a flat but pleasant path, with the Cathedral tower ever in view. The day had become very hot and
cloud was building, indicating the possibility of thundery cloud bursts.

Despite being hot, thirsty and somewhat weary, the riverside path was a calm and pleasant,
traffic-free way to enter the city. The magnificent sight of the Cathedral’s majestic west front was
enough to lift the spirits, and we were lucky enough to reach the porch just as the heavens
opened, accompanied by loud thunderclaps!

There we were welcomed by the Vice-Dean, the Rev. Canon Dr. Stephen Edwards. Although St.
Wulfstan’s shrine was destroyed at the Reformation, the Cathedral does have the Grave of the
Unknown Pilgrim (C15th), buried under an engraved slab round which we gathered to receive our
third blessing of the day. Canon Stephen then lead us down to the atmospheric Romanesque
Crypt to view artefacts belonging to the pilgrim: the remains of his boots, pilgrim staff and scallop
shell - a remarkable survival. This, we felt, was a truly fitting end to a memorable day’s pilgrimage:
a day of sunshine, good fellowship - and many blessings! Our grateful thanks to all the clergy and
church members who supported our pilgrimage this day.

June 2023:

Last call for our St. Wulfstan Way Day pilgrimage: 11 miles from Great Malvern Priory to Worcester Cathedral on Saturday, 10th June!

Members and friends from other regional groups welcome - please email Fiona ([email protected]) for day’s schedule.