Diocesan press releases

Youth pilgrimage along North Wales’ ancient paths

Young people from across North Wales are preparing to take part in the first Diocese of St Asaph Youth Pilgrimage, journeying in the footsteps of pilgrims across the centuries.

Twelve teenagers, accompanied by six adults, will be walking almost 50 miles over five days in July, from Llanberis to Aberdaron and then sailing to Bardsey Island, off the Llyn Peninsula following part of the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way.

The event is being planned by the Under 25s officer for the Diocese of St Asaph, Tim Feak, who organised a 10-mile training walk recently from Trelawynyd to St Asaph.

Tim said: “The pilgrimage is not just a long walk. It intentionally sets out to help young people put aside social media, phones, technology and the business and demands of modern life.

“It is about simplicity, spending time thinking, walking and enjoying company and experiencing some of the world’s most amazing scenery.

“Along the route, we will stop at many ancient churches visited by pilgrims throughout the centuries, with the young people stamping their Pilgrims Passport.”

Bardsey IslandThe North Wales Pilgrims Way is a 130-mile waymarked route linking ancient churches dedicated to the saints of the sixth century. It starts at Basingwerk Abbey which served as a hospital to pilgrims going to Holywell in medieval times and ends on Bardsey Island (left).  St Cadfan founded a Christian community on the island more than 1,500 years ago.

The route leads through woodland and over rivers, up mountains and along coast paths, through wilderness and into villages. It celebrates the heritage of those Celtic saints whose stories are lost in the mists of time but whose memory reverberates in ancient churches and at holy wells along the way.

Tim added: “Life for Young People is often hectic, busy and stressful.  We are running this pilgrimage to try and provide the group with time to simply ‘be’.

“We want to create a week of reflection, challenge, fun and friendship.  We hope that through this each young person will be inspired and learn more about themselves and their faith.”

The St Asaph Youth Pilgrimage takes place at the end of July.