Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Every Pilgrim's Guide to Holy Places

A little book that you might like to have in your collection is “Every Pilgrim’s Guide to Holy Places”.

Written by Michael Counsell, it is a useful reference book for Christians and lovers of England’s history and heritage.

The country is divided into regions, and within each there are articles about not only the obvious cathedrals, but also some of the smaller places, not always churches, which have particular connections with religious history. There are also pieces about significant individuals.

A personal gripe, I’m afraid, comes from my astonishment that three of the vastly interesting Essex churches are ignored – St. Peter-ad-Murum at Bradwell-juxta-Mare, built by St. Cedd in around 650AD and the subject of regular pilgrimages; St. Andrew at Greenstead-juxta-Ongar, the oldest wooden church in the world; and All Saints at Maldon, with its unique triangular tower.

However, there are many others that it’s definitely right to include.

In London, places featured include Westminster Abbey, St. Pauls Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral and the Tower of London, while people include Edward the Confessor, John Donne, Cardinal Wolsey and Lady Jane Grey.

In the South East, the places include Canterbury, Rochester, Chichester and Arundel, and people include St. Augustine of Canterbury, St. Anselm, St. Thomas a Becket and St. John Fisher.

In the South Coast section, there are pieces about Winchester, Salisbury, Malmesbury and Christchurch, and about Alfred the Great, St. Swithin, George Herbert and Jane Austen.

Then in the West Country, places featured include Exeter, Glastonbury, Wells and Bath, plus St. Joseph of Aramithea, St. Dunstan, Francis Drake and John Betjeman.

Under West of London, the places include Windsor, Oxford, Hereford and Cirencester, and some of the people are Hugh Latimer, C.S.Lewis, George Whitefield and John Newton.

The Western Midlands includes Worcester, Coventry, Lichfield and Ludlow, and the people include St. Chad, Dr. Samuel Johnson, William Shakespeare and Edward Burne-Jones.

The North West features Liverpool, Chester, Manchester and Lancaster, as well as Bishop John Charles Ryle, Gerard Manley Hopkins and George Fox.

Under the North East, places featured include Durham, York, Lincoln and Whitby, and the people include St. Wilfrid, the Venerable Bede, St. Hilda and the Wesley family.

The East Midlands includes pieces about Cambridge, Ely, Lutterworth and Peterborough, as well as John Milton, St. Etheldreda, John Wycliffe and John Bunyan.

East Anglia features Walsingham, Norwich, Kings Lynn and Bury St. Edmunds, and there are pieces about Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, James Woodforde and Edmund the Martyr.

Finally, under North of London there are pieces about St. Albans, Thaxted, Copford and Waltham Abbey, as well as St. Alban, Thomas Fuller and Elizabeth I.

It’s a super little book, which would grace the library of anybody interested either in Christianity or in our country’s history and heritage.

“Every Pilgrim’s Guide to England’s Holy Places” should be available at good bookshops.