St Frideswide’s Way inauguration

The St Frideswide’s Way logo is a pilgrim shell surrounded by a wreath of rosemary being a reminder of the healing ministry of the saint.

The St Frideswide’s Way is being inaugurated on Wednesday morning when a group of walkers set out from Christ Church Oxford for Reading Abbey.

Saint Frideswide, a Saxon princess who died in 727, is the patron saint of Oxford. Her reconstructed shrine is in the cathedral found within the college.

Thames walkers may know of her association with the treacle well at Binsey church.

The new St Frideswide’s Way route largely follows the Thames Path to Reading.

One can of course be a pilgrim walking on the Thames Path from Reading to Oxford’s cathedral -turning right at Folly Bridge.

But the idea of walking to Reading is that there you can join the St James Way running south to Winchester and Southampton. Once you could sail from the port to Galicia and reach the shrine of St James the Great in Santiago de Compostela by way of the short Camino Ingles.

Today most people walk through France on the famous Camino routes.

But just as the Pilgrims’ Way from Winchester to Canterbury is a long walk from St Swithun to St Thomas Becket so this new route could be called a long walk including voyage from St Frideswide to St James.

The St Frideswide’s Way will become part of the Camino Ingles to Santiago de Compostela and the distance walked will count towards the certificate which can be gained on arrival at Santiago.

But if not continuing to Spain one can at Reading recall that St James’s Hand was at the Abbey until the Reformation. The relic is now in the care of St Peter’s Church in Marlow where it is occasionally displayed.

On Wednesday morning 26 June the Bishop of Oxford will be at Christ Church to send the pilgrims on their way to Abingdon led by the college chaplain Dr Zachary Guiliano.

Wallingford will reached on Thursday and Pangbourne on Friday. Reading Abbey should be reached at about 3.30pm on Saturday.

Reading Abbey gate
A guide will be available shortly from the cathedral

One reply on “St Frideswide’s Way inauguration”

Nice to see this can be linked up with the St James Way and that a guidebook will be available.
Will there be credencial stamps available like other sections of the Camino Ingles? There are already some at locations along the Thames Path for the Thames Path passport that could be used.

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