A new 42-mile Whitby pilgrimage is being launched next month.
Dubbed St Hilda’s Way, it starts at Hinderwell and finishes at Whitby Abbey, visiting eight churches and chapels dedicated to St Hilda, as well as two other churches named after St Hedda and St Mary.
At each location there is a special focus on a different aspect of the Saint’s life, something to find in the church and opportunity for reflection and meditation.
The idea for St Hilda’s Way came from the churches in Whitby, inspired by the icon of St Hilda written by Edith Reyntiens.
Veteran long-distance walkers, Rev Nancy and John Eckersley lent their assistance in devising the route and writing the guidebook.
The guidebook has extracts from the Ordnance Survey OL27 map covering the route in short sections of between two and six miles.
Nancy has taken most of the photos and written the majority of the ‘special interest’ content. John has devised the route.
As always with their other walking books, Mark Comer has lent his inimitable talents to the final artistic presentation of the guide.
On Sunday June 28, the Way will be launched with a special service at St Hilda’s Holy Well at Hinderwell Church, led by the Rt Rev Paul Ferguson, the Bishop of Whitby from 11am.
There is then a led pilgrimage and the first leg of the trail, from Hinderwell to Scaling Dam, will be walked that afternoon, starting at 1.30pm and taking in the first five and a half miles.
The full walk will be completed over the following five days, culminating on the cliff top at Whitby Abbey on Friday July 3, following the last four and a half mile stint.
Guide books for ‘Walking St Hilda’s Way’ will be available to buy from June 28, at the launch.
It will also be available from the churches visited on the route, John and Nancy’s website, the Gateway centre at Staithes or from Whitby, Scarborough and Filey Tourist Information Centres.
People are welcome to join in the inaugural walk.