Way to St James Cygnet pilgrimage set for January

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Home > Media > News > Way to St James Cygnet pilgrimage set for January
Way to St James Cygnet pilgrimage set for January

Tasmanians and those from further afield are invited to once more don their walking shoes, take up a scallop shell and stone and take part in a two day spiritual journey through the Huon Valley to St James Church at Cygnet.

Run in 2016 and 2017, registrations are now open for the upcoming pilgrimage, set to be held from January 11 to 12 next year.

Modelled on the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage through northern Spain, former Huon Valley parish priest Fr Michael Tate says he was inspired to establish the pilgrimage by the presence of the Spanish-style church of St James in Cygnet.

“I thought, ‘Well, why not have a pilgrimage which ends up at our own little church of St James at Cygnet?’ … The beautiful countryside would bring people in contact with creation, perhaps give them an opportunity to ponder on the Creator, walking together towards the goal of St James.”
After two days of walking – averaging around 15km each day – pilgrims will reach Cygnet to be welcomed by a Spanish singer in the Flamenco tradition who will greet the procession which includes the carrying of a large icon of St James through the town.

The journey will conclude with a ‘festival ritual’ at St James Church, reminiscent of the traditional conclusion of the El Camino pilgrimage at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Open to all (above the age of 10), of any faith background or none, Fr Tate says that the proven formula of pilgrimage “brings great human and spiritual benefit”.

“This is often quite hard to express, but it’s good if it can be focused at the end on a sense of being drawn by the beauty of creation and by companionship to a sense of being blessed, and therefore giving thanks. Most people find it much easier at the end than at the beginning to thank God for their life and for that experience.”

For more details on the Way to St James Cygnet pilgrimage, or to register, go to www.waytostjames.com.au