THE TWO SAINTS WAY PILGRIMAGE ROUTE PROJECT
In the late Middle Ages, it is very likely that a steady stream of pilgrims would have passed through Nantwich. They may well have visited the old St Mary’s at Acton and St Mary’s Nantwich would be the new building to admire on their way to Canterbury and beyond. Now after an interval of almost 500 years, pilgrims are starting to walk this route again along the Two Saints Way which is a newly devised pilgrimage route between the cathedral cities of Chester and Lichfield. It has been set up in such a way as to recover some of the aspects that were important in medieval pilgrimage but also to apply them in a contemporary fashion.
One of the aims of the Two Saints Way project is that it is a new walking route which breaks the mould and has some special features which will attract many who have not been on a long distance walking route before as well as seasoned walkers.
The Two Saints Way ties in with the new mood of enthusiasm for the active spirituality of pilgrimage and sets the modern pilgrim on a contemporary quest for ancient wisdom.
The route enables walkers to visit the Potteries Museum where the Staffordshire hoard is displayed and provides an excellent opportunity to highlight the Mercian and Anglo Saxon heritage of the region. St Mary’s Acton had a particularly fine collection of Saxon stones.
The project identifies strongly with widespread concerns about health in our society today and is linking with the NHS Change4Life initiative. One of the slogans is “Walking your way to Health on the Two Saints Way.” The Two Saints Way is also be an ideal resource for schools and colleges.
(click map to enlarge)
Cracking the QR Code
The normal way that people follow a long distance walking route is by using a guide book and maps and looking out for the waymarks. These are provided but the route also involves the introduction of some special high tech innovations. This will mean that it will be possible to follow the route with a mobile phone through the use of QR codes. The QR codes will be discreetly positioned on finger posts and interpretation panels and they will give the walker all the information he or she needs to navigate the route successfully.
Sometimes walkers can get confused (for example in woodland) if it is the same symbol for both directions.
With the Two Saints Way it will not be a problem – you will simply follow St Chad’s cross if you are journeying from Chester to Lichfield and St Werburgh’s goose if you want to fly from Lichfield to Chester!
The Pilgrim’s Pass will provide the pilgrim with reduced price access to some of the sites along the way – and possibly discounts at shops and businesses along the route. It is even hoped that pubs will provide you with a free Pilgrim’s Pint when you stop for a bite to eat! There are some ideal pubs on Welsh Row which could become pilgrim pubs.
It is hoped that the Two Saints Way will bring good things to Nantwich and that in the ancient traditions of pilgrimage, modern day pilgrims will find Nantwich to be a place of warm welcome and hospitality. If you would like to find out more about the Two Saints Way Project and would like to receive regular updates please contact the project leader David Pott at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone him on 07932 790525.
Look out for the interpretation board at St Mary’s Church, Nantwich or visit the web site, www.twosaintsway.org.uk
Interpretation Board – Stage 5 – 2013001 Nantwich Panel St1