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Benedictine Way

In 2022 the Malvern Walking Festival put a 120 kilometre walk round the Benedictine Foundations in South Worcestershire at the centre of its Festival programme.

Starting at Mucknell Abbey, the group went to Pershore Abbey then to Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire via the Benedictine tithe barn in Bredon. Crossing the Severn by ferry, the walkers reach out to Little Malvern Priory by way of Deerhurst. They then proceed in short order to St. Wulstan’s Church, then Great Malvern Priory and complete their six day exuberance in Worcester Cathedral.

It is planned that a permanent pilgrimage route will follow on from this initial adventure. There was an immense amount of staff work in creating a viable and legal route through the wonderful countryside delineated by this Ring. The map of the route will be given to Little Malvern Priory, to support future plans.

The idea of a pilgrim route, “St Wulstan’s Progress”, comes from the monks of Mucknell Abbey. In 1985, 1910 people made the pilgrimage to Santiago di Compostella in Spain; in 2018 this rose to 492,000. There is an untapped market in England for disciplined tourism of this scale and it may be expected that the

Worcestershire pilgrimage will attract 20,000 visitors over a ten year term. We understand that the Abbot and the Bishop are keen on this Benedictine emphasis. The Benedictines have been a recognised Christian order since the death of St Benedict in 547. They are not the largest order but their interpretation of the practical consequences of biblical theology is simple and robust. There are four pillars on which their wisdom is based:

Manual work;
Corporate worship.

The Rule of St Benedict includes many customs and traditions, such as:

forms of prayer;
community living;
mutual service.

These combine to enable a peaceful life allowing the monastics to focus on God.

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