Preparing for the road

St Jacques-de-Compostelle parish church, Dieppe

I have obtained a piligrimin passport (credencial) through the post from William Marques, a pivotal member of the Confraternity of St James who is now mostly involved with the piligrimin association for the Via Francigena (the Canterbury to Rome route).

I needed a piligrimin passport at short notice – as I hadn’t really planned anything until ten days ago – so I contacted a few people to see if I could get one quicker than the two weeks or so to process a CSJ piligrimin passport, and now – thanks to William – I am going down the Via Turonensis with a Via Francigena passport.  Is this the sort of thing people were burned for in the 13th century? Maybe if anyone questions it, I’ll just say I’m turning left at the Pyrenees.

I leave Canterbury tomorrow Wednesday, and you can follow my progress on this blog, which will go quiet sometimes – in between Internet cafes – and will carry some photos taken on route whenever I can stop and upload them.  Unlike my 2008 piligriminage, on foot for 1500 miles from Worcester to Compostela and Finisterre, I am travelling by velocipede. My tasks are twofold: to blog for the new Catholicism Pure & Simple blog (more about that here in the next days); and to write a guide for pilgrims on foot from Dieppe to Tours, where they can pick up the Via Turonensis from Paris to the Pyrenees, which is well marked and various published guides are available.  My little booklet on the Route des Anglais will be offered to the Confraternity of St James, the English pilgrim association.

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About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I like to listen to BBC Radio 4 and the wind in the pine trees. I am writing a comedy about a school in Benidorm. My favourite film of all time is "Jean de Florette". If I had my time again I would not have spent the early 1970s working for Special Branch.
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