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Nick Mayhew-Smith & Guy Hayward – Britain’s Pilgrim Places

Publisher: Lifestyle Press Price £19.99 608 Pages ISBN: 9780954476786

Pilgrimage is near to the heart of biblical faith, ranging from the visits to the three ancient Jewish festivals celebrated in the Songs of Ascent (Psalms 120-134). The only story in the Gospels devoted to the childhood of Jesus speaks of a pilgrimage made by his family to Jerusalem. The Church is born at the Pentecost festival, when Jerusalem was thronged with visiting pilgrimage.

The British countryside is littered with memories of our Christian heritage. This sumptuous book is one part travelogue, one part architectural commentary and one part a handbook to this unique spiritual resource. It is a guidebook for taking meaningful journeys that care about both the journey and the destination.

Readers of this well-researched and beautifully produced book will benefit from a roadmap for a holy places trawl, that is liberally studded with fascinating facts that will inform even those familiar with the churches and sites included.

I was pleased to gain an insight into the life, importance and influence of the pre-Norman missionary St Botolph, who is the patron of one of our local churches. The details in this book are informative and model an attentiveness that is required to get the most out of any visit to the places listed here.

This is an excellent guide to the paths and places that have shaped the spiritual history of Britain. Do yourself a favour, get a copy, grab some Ordinance Survey Maps, put on those boots and get walking.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex

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