Who we are Why we exist Why we exist The help and preparation that we received from the CSJ prior to embarking on our first camino was truly invaluable. Our History The CSJ was first started by six men and women in 1983, all of whom shared a passion for the Camino de Santiago and took it upon themselves to educate the British public about the extraordinary but little-known Way of St James. Rob, Mary, Jocelyn, Ian, Pat and Peter quickly began to recruit others to their cause and link up with academics and pilgrimage experts across Europe to bring more attention to the camino in the UK. Similar in both mission and operation to the French Confrèries de Saint-Jacques and the Spanish Cofradías de Santiago, we were named the Confraternity of St James. At that time, the CSJ was the only UK body offering either practical or educational information on the various pilgrim roads to Santiago. Our volunteers wrote guidebooks, published research papers, held talks and conferences and began to create a small community of British camino pilgrims. We also became the only place in the UK where camino pilgrims could get an accredited pilgrim credencial - an accolade that's still the case today. In 1991, the members of the CSJ UK opened our first pilgrim hostel (albergue) in Rabanal del Camino on the Camino Francés. In 2010, we opened our second in Miraz on the Camino del Norte. Every year since, we have sent our own trained members to provide welcome and hospitality to pilgrims currently on their caminos! Refugio Gaucelmo at Rabanal del Camino Nowadays, the CSJ is a registered charity with an office, bookshop and library, a small staff, a fresh generation of volunteers and around 1,500 members around the world, continuing in the original mission of the founding six! Our Charitable Aims The CSJ UK exists to provide a community for camino pilgrims in the UK, and specifically to: advance the education of the public on the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela promote the camino and pilgrimage, including related history, art, architecture and music provide information, advice and guidance to all camino pilgrims, no matter their reason for going, both before and after their pilgrimage maintain our pilgrim hostels promote research and educational programmes about pilgrimage, St James, medieval Spain and related topics work to establish links between the camino and the UK, including establishing local pilgrim routes The Confraternity gave me laughter and the love of friends. Want to help? Become a member You can directly contribute to our mission at the same time as benefiting from discounts on products and events, gain access to our library, and become part of the CSJ community. Donate Give to the fund of your choice, going towards providing support and guidance for all camino pilgrims Volunteer Get involved! There are plenty of ways you can actively help us in spreading the word about the Camino de Santiago.