The exciting new Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way will be one of the subjects discussed at a major pilgrimage symposium taking place on March 11 and 12 in the Riverside Hotel, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. Titled, “Pilgrimage Today – Routes to Flourishing Communities and Enterprise”, the symposium will celebrate the ancient Celtic links between Ferns, Co Wexford and St Davids in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
The event will also ask examine 3 vital questions: ‘How do you create a successful pilgrim route? What are the benefits for local communities? Is there a difference between a tourist and a pilgrim? These questions will be addressed in an action-packed day, combining expert podium speakers with inclusive discussions.
The programme begins on Saturday, March 11 with a keynote speech from Satish Kumar. Kumar became world-famous when he undertook a peace pilgrimage from India to Moscow, London, Paris, and America in 1962. Subsequently, he devoted his life to campaigning for ecological regeneration, social justice and spiritual fulfilment. Now in his 80s, Kumar is an inspirational speaker, teacher and author.
Speaking about opportunities for spiritual tourism in Wales and Ireland will be, Andrew Smith (Visit Wales) and Ciara Byrne (Fáilte Ireland). Other speakers include Dr Sarah Rowland-Jones, Dean of St David’s Cathedral, who will talk about pilgrim walking in Wales and John G O’Dwyer, Chairman of Pilgrim Paths Ireland, who will discuss the 21st-century revival of pilgrim walking in Ireland.
There will also be opportunities to explore pilgrimage practice informally and time to chat and network with other attendees. Sunday, March 12 is an optional extra, where participants will have a chance to walk some of the new pilgrim route in Wexford or participate in a pilgrimage singing workshop.
The symposium is expected to attract a wide attendance including local businesses in the hospitality, tour guiding and accommodation industries, spiritual tourism specialists and policymakers, academics and researchers, local government representatives and community activists.
The event is free, open to all and includes complimentary lunch on Saturday. It can be booked at: https://ancientconnections.org/activities .
For further information
David Pepper (Pembrokeshire Pilgrimage Officer) 07985339009
Eoghan Greene (Project Officer, Ancient Connections) 087 3386005
NOTES FOR EDITORS, PROGRAMME PRODUCERS
In both the southeast of Ireland and the southwest of Wales, a robust tradition tells of the Irish-born St Aidan journeying to study under St David, patron saint of Wales. Aidan was gifted honeybees by David on his return to Ireland. These then thrived within the famous monastery he founded at Ferns. A lifelong bond was thus created between two saintly men and two Celtic lands with David later journeying to Wexford and leaving his mark on the landscape. The new path celebrates the relationship between the two renowned Celtic saints.
Partners involved in developing the Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way:
British Pilgrimage Trust: https://britishpilgrimage.org
Pilgrim Paths Ireland: https://www.pilgrimpath.ie/
Guided Pilgrimage: https://www.guidedpilgrimage.co.uk
Ancient Connections: https://ancientconnections.org/