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World News

Devon Pilgrimage route launched in honour of St Boniface

by Donna Birrell

A new pilgrimage in honour of St Boniface, Devon's patron saint, is being launched today (Saturday) with a series of special events along the route.

The 14-mile St Boniface Way goes from Holy Cross Church in Crediton to Exeter Cathedral.

Boniface was born in Crediton around 675AD and attended a monastery near the Cathedral site. 

The route is part of Devon Pilgrim, a Church of England initiative to encourage more people to discover the spirituality and history of Devon's landscape, churches and Holy sites.

The St Boniface Way has been devised by local groups in Crediton and at Exeter Cathedral.

The Reverend Matthew Trengenza, vicar of Crediton, said "My own experience of pilgrimage has been allowing myself to be open to God. 

"It's also been about journeying with fellow pilgrims, listening to their story and telling them something of my story.

"I hope that those who walk the St Boniface Way may encounter Christ, not only in the beautiful countryside and the churches that they visit, but in the stories and the lives of their fellow pilgrims."

The first pilgrims will walk from Holy Cross Church to Shobrooke to dress the Holy well there. 

They will go on to St Swithun's Church before arriving at St Cyr and St Julietta's Church in Newton St Cyres for the official blessing of the route and a family treasure hunt.

The day will end at Exeter Cathedral for a choral service of Compline (night prayer) and a talk by the Dean, the Very Reverend Jonathan Greener.

Sam Upham, Project Officer for Devon Pilgrim, said "What's so special about St Boniface Way is that, despite starting in a busy market town, and ending right in the heart of the city, over the course of only 15 miles, you pass through quiet countryside, along stunning rivers and tiny villages.  

"This route shows just how easy it is, even in a busy area like Exeter, to find space and tranquillity. 

"Walking St Boniface Way, you come away from the noise of daily life, to stop, to breathe in fresh air and reflect."


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