Cycling and walking for physical and spiritual wellbeing
By David Wood
Cyclists from Gloucester Cathedral will take part in a nationwide relay ride on Thursday, 1 July, following a new cycle route linking every Church of England Cathedral.
Later in the summer the Cathedral Ramblers, staff, volunteers and members of the public will complete a Pilgrimage Walk from Tewkesbury Abbey to Gloucester Cathedral.
Both events are supported by the Association of English Cathedrals and aim to increase physical and spiritual wellbeing - combining being active in nature and caring for the planet whilst joining up local and national spiritual heritage sites.
The Cathedral's Cycle Network relay event marks the launch of the new 2,000-mile loop, which links all 42 English Cathedrals to promote greener travel and mental and physical wellbeing.
Team Gloucester will set off from Gloucester Cathedral on 1 July, taking forward the specially commissioned Cathedrals Cycle Network baton to not one but two Cathedrals - Hereford and Worcester!
Canon Andrew Braddock, said: "The wellbeing benefits to people and the planet of cycling are significant. We are delighted to be supporting this event and look forward to welcoming pilgrims and visitors following the launch of the Cathedrals Cycle Route."
But it's not just cycling. Across England walking routes are being launched that track ancient paths of pilgrimage to the nation's cathedrals. Intended for launch in 2020, the Discover Cathedrals, Discover Pilgrimage initiative has been moved to 2021 and beyond to respond to the pandemic as restrictions are lifted.
Aiming to make pilgrimage more accessible, reconnecting with the paths walked by ancestors and promoting spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing the Gloucester Pilgrimage has been developed through collaboration between the Cathedral Ramblers, staff and volunteers and partner organisations.
The walk will connect Tewkesbury Abbey and Gloucester Cathedral via several parish churches across stunning countryside and all are welcome to join - look out for registration later in the summer.
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