The Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome

This organisation have their annual meeting in London at the start of March. I wonder if it would be worth going along? I don’t consider myself a pilgrim due to my complete lack of any religious belief, but could be interesting. It describes the meeting on their website: “The Practical Pilgrim Day will start at 12:00 with a review of the route and its history, waymarking, maps & guides.  This will be followed by a question and answer session and then we will split into separate groups for walkers and cyclists. There will be a lunch break and afterwards a talk on the Via Francigena.  We round the day off with a short walk and then a drink and meal.” The other thing, apart from my own atheism, is that I am cycling the Eurovelo 5, not the Via Francigena. It takes place on Saturday 6th March at St James’ Church, 197 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LL. To think about. Any other atheists out there willing to come along?

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  1. Hi !

    Boring assignent finished .. now a chance to day dream ! Will be heading to Europe with cycling on my mind in 2011… a wee way off just yet.. but I like good planing and considering lots of options. A group of us want to do the Via Francigena..following the walking track on the old MTB and are wondering how long it might take. I see some cyclists did the journey in 16 days some years ago.. but that must have been on the road ? It seems there are various routes but we wil take Babette adn Paul’s recommended route, which I greatly look forward to. Good luck. will follow your adventure !

    • Hi Helen
      Thanks for the comment. Did we exchange emails a couple of years ago? I seem to remember having a short email conversation with someone called Helen in New Zealand…
      For most of my journey, I won’t actually be following the Via Francigena; the Eurovelo 5 route is a bit further to the East than the VF. However, the two meet up in northern Italy (and of course have the same route in England). The VF is a more or less straight line route between Canterbury and Rome whereas the Eurovelo 5 takes in some major cities en route (Lille, Brussels, Strasbourg, Basel, Lucerne, Milan….).
      When I went to the confraternity meeting (where you left the message on the blog), I did speak to the chairman of the association and he had cycled the VF. I have posted his itinerary on the blog in the “route” section: . As you can see it took him and his wife 25 days to get from Canterbury to Rome but I’m sure that if you pushed it, you could cut that down. 16 days does, however seem a little bit short and you would really have to push it every day. His itinerary gives some brief notes as to the terrain.
      I recently saw a copy of the book you mention – the LightFoot Guide by Babette Gallard and Paul Chin and it was very impressive – very detailed with some good profiles and maps (much better than their blog upon which I assume the blog was based).
      My own route, following the Eurovelo 5 route and / or the VF will be made up en route. I will have a good idea as to where I am going to be each day (hence the recent fixation with getting a detailed itinerary together), but I will not have a list of “turn left after 500 metres then go up the hill and turn right at the bottom of the track….” etc…. I’ll just figure it out on the ground.
      Hope this helps. Keep following the blog and if you have any other questions, please ask!
      Best wishes

  2. Agggggggggggh !!!!
    Missed the meeting !!!
    Having completed the pilgrimage to Santiago last year I am very keen to cycle to Rome in June 2010. Is there any one out there who I can have a chat with with regard to cycling this route; maps, equipment, preparation etc etc?
    Looking forward to some replies fingers crossed.

    All the very best

    James (Miers)

    • Hi James. I’m Andrew, the author of this blog… which is dedicated to my own trip to Italy in summer 2010. Have a look around the site – there is plenty of information on here – and if you have any questions, just ask!

  3. Anyone interested in walking, cycling or riding to Rome is welcome on the 6th. The CPR members all have their own reason for the journey be it religious, spiritual or fun.

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  5. I am an atheist peregrino too!
    But, we are not new or special on the pilgrimage trails.
    The church has always welcomed all – as is evidenced by the 12th c Latin hymn, the La Pretiosa used as a part of the blessing on the camino at Roncesvalles:

    Its doors are open to the sick and well
    to Catholics as well as to pagans,
    Jews, Heretics, beggars and the indigent,
    and it embraces all like brothers.

  6. I may be able to join you, I will check my diary on Monday.
    As I have commented before, i do have what might be considered religious faith, but not this kind, so I would be nearer your camp I think.

  7. Hi Andrew

    I’ve just read your latest entry. I manage the website for the Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome. We welcome all – atheists included! Our chairman William and his wife cycled from Canterbury to Rome in stages so should be able to give you some useful info.

    hope to see you there

    take care

    • Hi Ann
      Thanks for the post, and the re-assurances about my lack of belief! Much appreciated. I’ll put the event in my diary and try and make it down there.

What do you think?