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Easter greetings

Posted: Sunday 16th April 2017, 10:26 AM

May we wish you all a happy and blessed Easter. The spring mailing went out during Holy Week, with the 2017 Handbook, Annual Meeting information,leaflets etc. We hope all members have received it, and remind you that the documents are also available on the Members' Area of this website. The National Gathering and AGM is being held in Peterborough this year on Saturday 21st October. A new link in our Links section - the North Wales Pilgrim's Way - the annual pilgrimage to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island) takes place 27 May - 9 June.

Latest information from SPPN

Posted: Thursday 30th March 2017, 3:04 PM

The 2017 Handbook and leaflets are now at the printers and hard copies will be included in the mailing to members which should go out before Easter. Meanwhile copies are in the "Latest SPPN Materials" section of the Members' Area of the website, and non-members can request copies by email. Do take the time to look at the Handbook, it expands on the website information about the ethos and practicalities of a Small Pilgrim Place. Details of the 2017 National Gathering and AGM (21st October in Peterborough) will also be available as soon as they are finalised.

News in early March

Posted: Friday 10th March 2017, 9:34 PM

We are pleased to welcome St Mary the Virgin, Throwleigh (Devon) to the Network this month. Sadly the Fenland Hermitage and Minsteracres Chruch and Peace Garden have withdrawn from the Network for various reasons, but we still have over 50 Places in our listing. Ali Green has been on her travels again, this time to Stratford-sub-castle, and the 5th instalment of her pilgrimage journal can be found in the Members' Area.

February update

Posted: Monday 20th February 2017, 10:46 AM

Preparation of the 2017 handbook can hardly keep up! Another new Place is the Well Centre for Spirituality in Westbury on Trym, to add to the four already welcomed this month - The Labyrinth near Looe in Cornwall, the Holy Well and Church at All Saints Burton Dassett in Warwickshire, All Saints Waterden in Norfolk, and the Old Schoolhouse and Chapel of St Raphael Huccaby in Devon. It is very encouraging that the vision of the Network is spreading in this way. Remember that we always welcome feedback from any visitors to our Places as we strive to improve the experience.

Recent contributions

Posted: Saturday 14th January 2017, 6:49 PM

Two members of the Network have sent items which we have put up on the Members' Area in the Inspiration section. Ali Green has sent another instalment of her Pilgrimage Journal, this time a wintry visit to Netherbury. Liz Mellor, who is an artist who has found inspiration in the coastal pilgrim paths and spiritual spaces of the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales, writes about art as part of the sacred environment. (Jim Cotter often had artwork as part of the Llandecwyn experience). Liz currently has an exhibition with Diana Baur "To Frame or not to Frame" at the Visitors Centre next to St Oswald's Church in Oswestry, running til 26th February (Mondays to Saturdays, 10-4 pm). More information on

Pilgrim Journeys

Posted: Sunday 4th December 2016, 6:39 PM

One of our members, Ali Green from Bradford on Avon, is travelling round many of our Small Pilgrim Places on her bicycle whenever time allows. Her journal of her pilgrimage is available in the Members' Area. We are please to say that she will be the speaker at our 2017 National Gathering, in Peterborough on 21st October 2017. At the 2016 National Gathering in Abergavenny last October we welcomed another pilgrim - Andy Delmege - who has been on a walking pilgrimage round Wales on the Cistercian Way. (Click the News link for more on the meeting).

National Gathering

Posted: Monday 7th November 2016, 10:45 AM

We had a really good day at the National Gathering at Hedd Wen, Abergavenny. We were made very welcome, and it was good to meet other members and friends from the Network. Esther de Waal's inspiring talk was entitled “The Garden of the heart - a place to be alone with God“. She spoke of the importance of the sense of interior space, something known and acknowledged across the world, across religions, through the ages - the need for an inner space. It is there in the monastery - the cloister round the enclosed central (often green) breathing space; in the roman house, the mosque, the temple, the farmstead - sometimes even in the shopping centre. And there in the breathing space so often will be a fountain. A poem from Bonnie Thurston - "At the monastic centre is always a cloister, an orchestrated emptiness, a place of light a fountain to feed the heart’s garden. Give me this life: a centre empty of all but light, the stillness of Eden before fruit was plucked, my heart a spring of living water."

News in August

Posted: Wednesday 3rd August 2016, 11:02 AM

We welcome St. Laurence, West Challow, Wantage to the Network. The summer newsletter will be out soon, and we will also send members a handbook update. The SPPN leaflet has been translated into Welsh and is being used to publicise the Network at the National Eisteddfod in Abergavenny. Details of the National Gathering (also in Abergavenny) on 15th October can be found by clicking on the "More News" link below.

News in July

Posted: Monday 18th July 2016, 7:41 PM

We welcome St. Andrew, Winston, Darlington to the Network, adding another to the cluster of Places in County Durham. Also we have had the SPPN leaflet translated into Welsh and hope to use them to publicise the Network at the National Eisteddfod at the beginning of August. Details of the National Gathering in Abergavenny on 15th October can be found by clicking on the "News" link above left.

News from Small Pilgrim Places

Posted: Monday 13th June 2016, 9:49 AM

We welcome another new Place to the Network, St Eadburgha, Ebrington, near Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire. Details of this Place and also St Mary, Billingsley, Bridgnorth are here on the website, and also in the updated versions of documents in the Members' Area. We hear about special activities such as the URBAN PILGRIMAGE on 18th June with the Peterborough Quakers; the HIDDEN HERITAGE Walk in Durham on 2nd July, and the JULIAN OF NORWICH FESTIVAL at St Mary's North Stoke at the end of July.(Contact the hospitallers for details). Also in the mailing were details about the SPPN 2016 NATIONAL GATHERING AND AGM which will be held at Hedd Wen Peace Place Small Pilgrim Place, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire on Saturday October 15th.

New Year News

Posted: Monday 4th January 2016, 6:36 PM

The 2016 National Gathering and AGM will be held at Hedd Wen Peace Place Small Pilgrim Place, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire on Saturday October 15th. Details follow in due course, but please book the date now. The December newsletter also included information about plans to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the death of Julian of Norwich at St Mary's North Stoke in Sussex, news of the new SPPN bookmark, and two contributions from members - one thinking about the place of the quiet pilgrim in today’s wider church, and the other a collection of feedback about the spiritual value of being part of a Small Pilgrim Place.

Good News from Llandecwyn

Posted: Tuesday 14th April 2015, 5:32 PM

St Tecwyn's church is once more open to visitors. It is good to know that the threads of Jim Cotter's ministry are being picked up once again in Llandecwyn, the first of the Small Pilgrim Places. Further details are on the Llandecwyn entry in "Places to Visit" section of this website.

Children's Photo Art Trail

Posted: Sunday 14th September 2014, 9:10 PM

St. Laurence Church,Hallgarth, Pittington ( has set up a PHOTO ART TRAIL for Children. ST. LAURENCE’S 10th century church is full of pictures, stories, patterns and shapes, in stone, wood and glass. It can make a family visit - there are refreshments to enjoy along with the activities. The trail encourages children to get the BIG picture from the SMALL details, TEST their observation, SEARCH for details, DRAW and DESIGN, and THINK BIG with some puzzling objects For more information or to make a group booking, please contact Dave Arnott: 0191 372 1683 or Sylvia Hope: 0191 372 1190

Etched by Silence - A Pilgrimage Through the Poetry of R. S. Thomas

Posted: Sunday 25th August 2013, 7:30 PM

Canterbury Press ( have published a new edition of Jim Cotter’s compilation of poems by Wales' famous poet-priest, R S Thomas, interspersed with short reflections and questions for exploration that connect the poetry to the North Wales landscape that inspired it. Originally produced locally, its appeal extends to all who know and love the poetry, and whose own faith and questions are mirrored in it. The book brings the poetry alive in a fresh way and provides a pilgrim guide to the locality, along with reflections that enable readers everywhere to enter more deeply into the world of the poems. The companion DVD is also still available - contact All royalties will continue to go to maintaining the church at Aberdaron (which is one of our Small Pilgrim Places).

Church bell rings out at Shopping Centre

Posted: Wednesday 9th January 2013, 1:43 PM

“Church bell to ring out at shopping centre” – one of our Places made the headlines as its bell, cast by Exeter's Robert Norton during the reign of Henry VI, was restored following a donation from the city's Guildhall shopping centre, in which the church sits. Andrew McNeilly, manager of the shopping centre, said: "The church is an important part of what makes us unique – we are the only shopping centre in the world to boast a 12th-century church at its heart.." The bell bears the Latin inscription "Quamvis sum parva tamen audior ampla per arva", which means: "I may be small, nevertheless I am heard over a wide distance."

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