St James's Church, Hampton Hill

Pilgrimages through the years

Pilgrimage to St. Paul's

Pilgrimage to St Paul's Cathedral
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Pilgrimages are an important part of spiritual life for many Christians. They are long journeys or searches of great significance, sometimes a journey to a sacred place or shrine of importance to a person's beliefs and faith. Over the years some places have become special for various reasons, and Christians, who see life itself as a journey, decide to visit them to become closer to God. A pilgrimage is a symbol that is acted out and a person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim.

Pilgrimages were first made to sites connected with the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. They also began to be made to Rome and other sites associated with the Apostles, Saints and Christian martyrs, as well as to places where there have been apparitions of the Virgin Mary.

In the Middle Ages the Church encouraged people to make pilgrimages to special holy places as it was believed that if you prayed there you might be forgiven for your sins and have more chance of going to heaven. Others went on pilgrimages hoping to be cured from an illness they were suffering from. Travelling on long journeys in the Middle Ages was a dangerous activity. Pilgrims would often travel in groups to protect themselves against outlaws and stay in monasteries or inns overnight.

Over the years St James's parishioners have made pilgrimages to many different places, some near to home and some to foreign lands. Some go on pilgrimages with their families and some go as a group. During his incumbency, Revd Leathard led a number of pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Jordan, Mount Sinai, Jerusalem, Galilee, Syria and the Lebanon. There was also a pilgrimage to Winchester in 2008. Revd Vannozzi led a pilgrimage to Westminster Abbey in 2009 and to St Paul’s Cathedral in 2010 (shown above right) and Revd Debbie Oades led a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2010. "The spiritual journey and strengthening or renewal of faith experienced by the group was hugely significant." The 2013 pilgrimage to the Holy Land was led by Revd Julian Reindorp.

Read these articles:
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (1990 October)
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (1992 October)
Our Trip to Syria and Lebanon (1998 October)
Pilgrimage to Salisbury (2000 September)
Pilgrimage to Chichester (2002 July)
Pilgrimage to Sri Lanka (2005 October)
Following St Paul (2008 March)
On Hallowed Ground (2009 April/May)
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (2010 February)
Wren's 'Heaven on Earth' (2010)
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (2013 February)


The Dead Sea




The Holy Land

St James's Church
The Parish Church of St James, Hampton Hill, TW12 1DQ
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