Events & Timeline

See the list below for a timeline of project events and associated conferences, congresses and symposia that the Pilgrimage and England's Cathedrals project will be involved in.

Past events

Cathedrals, Mission, and the Power of 'Place', Past, Present and Future Conference
14th November 2017
Lambeth Palace, The Guard Room and State Drawing Room

This conference, which took place at the conclusion of an important three-year partnership between the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture at the University of York and the Church of England, brought together Chapter members, education and visitor department staff, and other stakeholders to discuss key theological and practical issues, share best practice, and consider new mission strategies.

>> More information on this event

Cathedrals Plus Conference: Journeys
26th September 2017 to 28th September 2017
York Minster

Papers given by Dee Dyas, Louise Hampson, Marion Bowman, Tiina Sepp and John Jenkins.

Visiting and Engaging with Sacred Places Past and Present workshop
20th July 2017
University of York

As part of disseminating the findings of our research project examining experiences of visiting and engaging with sacred places, past and present, we ran a half-day workshop for those who manage a wide range of sites of religious or spiritual significance, such as former monastic sites, in order to inform debate about how such sites are promoted, managed and interpreted.

Historic England and English Heritage are partners in this research project but we extended this invitation to members of other heritage organisations such as the National Trust who find themselves facing new and challenging demands from visitors wishing to understand and explore the religious/spiritual dimensions of sites in greater depth.

Fresh Perspectives on Pilgrimage and Place
18th July 2017 to 19th July 2017
University of York

This conference was designed as an opportunity to share research outcomes of the 3 year AHRC funded project on ‘Pilgrimage and England’s Cathedrals, Past and Present’ in conversation with others working in the fields of pilgrimage and both journey- and place-related spirituality.

For more information, see our conference webpage.

Cathedrals Workshop
17th July 2017
University of York

Our research project into past and present experience of pilgrimage has focused on four case-study cathedrals (Canterbury, Durham, York and Westminster Cathedral), but the issues raised and findings are relevant to all cathedrals, and would usefully inform debate about visitor management, interpretation, and the challenges of balancing a cathedrals’ dual identities as sacred spaces and heritage sites for the many audiences who visit.

We are therefore inviting key staff with responsibility for visitor engagement and education to explore together what the research findings suggest and how best to disseminate best practice in a half-day workshop on 17th July in York. There are a few places left, so click here more information on how to book. Closing date is 30th June 2017.

Feast Day of St John Southworth
27th June 2017
Westminster Cathedral

Visit Westminster Cathedral on the feast day of their resident saint, St John Southworth, and explore his life and example with a short prayer trail we have created around the Cathedral.

Find out more details at

Pilgrimage Experience Day at Durham Cathedral
9th June 2017
Durham Cathedral

Join us for our Pilgrimage Experience Day at Durham Cathedral on Friday 9th June.

Find out more at

RHS Symposium: Putting History in its Place: Historic Landscapes and Environments
21st April 2017
University of Chester

Dee Dyas and John Jenkins, 'Pilgrimage and the sacred environment in medieval English cathedrals'

Symposium: Places and Processes of Pilgrimage, Past and Present
11th January 2017
University of Tartu, Estonia

Tiina Sepp, 'From Canterbury to Durham: Pilgrimage to and at English Cathedrals'

Landscapes Seminar Series, Durham University
15th November 2016
Durham University

John Jenkins: Cultivating the Sacred Environment: The Experience of Pilgrimage in Medieval English Cathedrals'

Surrey Archaeological Society Medieval Studies Forum
5th November 2016

John Jenkins, Invited Lecture 'The Medieval Experience of Pilgrimage at English Cathedrals'

Durham World Heritage Site Conference: Intangible Heritage
4th November 2016
Durham Cathedral

Papers by Dee Dyas, Marion Bowman, and John Jenkins.

BASR (British Association for the Study of Religions) Conference in Wolverhampton
5th September 2016 to 7th September 2016
University of Wolverhampton

Theme: 'Religion Beyond the Textbook'.

Panel name: Exploring the 'Special': Places and Processes of 'Specialness'
(Chairs Krittika Bhattacharjee and Marion Bowman)

Tiina Sepp: York Minster at Night

Marion Bowman: Seeking, finding and experiencing the special in Westminster Cathedral

Krittika Bhattacharjee: Story-telling Iona

EASR (European Association for the Study of Religions) Conference in Helsinki
28th June 2016 to 1st July 2016
University of Helsinki, Finland

EASR 2016 Conference 'Relocating Religion'

Panel 'Relocating Protestants: Pilgrimage and de/reformation'
(Chairs: Marion Bowman & Tiina Sepp)

Tiina Sepp: Pilgrim stories from England, Estonia and Spain

Marion Bowman: Relocating Pilgrimage in Scotland

Marion Grau: Pilgrimage as Earthbound Ritual Retraditioning: Reframing Nidaros and the Heritage of St. Olav

Seminar at the Material and Visual Cultures Research Group
22nd June 2016
Open University

Materiality and Relationality: Continuity and Change in Taking, Leaving and Interacting in English Cathedrals
Papers given by Marion Bowman (Co-I) and Tiina Sepp (Post-doctoral Researcher)

Cathedral Archives and Library Lecture, Canterbury Cathedral
11th March 2016
Canterbury Cathedral

John Jenkins 'Reconstructing the Medieval Pilgrim Experience at Canterbury'

International Association for History of Religions World Congress
23rd August 2015 to 29th August 2015
Erfurt, Germany

IAHR conference Erfurt 2015: Dynamics of Religion: Past and Present
Panel Title: ‘Comparing the dynamics of pilgrim experience past and present’
Panel Chair: Marion Bowman

Finding a Space for Pilgrimage: The Roots and Routes of English Cathedrals
Simon Coleman, University of Toronto, Canada

Creating a context: using the senses in shaping a pilgrim environment
Dee Dyas, University of York, UK

The dynamics of medieval and contemporary pilgrimage at Canterbury and Durham cathedrals
John Jenkins and Tiina Sepp, University of York, UK

Containers of the Sacred: From Pilgrim Badges to Magnets, Ducks and Selfies
Marion Bowman, The Open University, UK

>> Click for more information

Ecclesiastical History Society 54th Summer Conference: Translating Christianity
28th July 2015 to 30th July 2015
University of York

Panel Chair: Stephen Holmes

Dee Dyas, Seeing is believing: Pilgrimage, the Senses and the Power of Place

John Jenkins and Tiina Sepp, Losing Focus? Comparing Medieval and Contemporary Pilgrimage at Canterbury and Durham Cathedrals

Marion Bowman, ‘Containers of the Sacred’ today

Pilgrimage and Cathedrals Project Annual Conference
25th July 2015
University of York
SIEF (International Society for Ethnology and Folklore) Congress
21st June 2015 to 25th June 2015
Zagreb, Croatia

Congress theme: Utopias, Realities, Heritages. Ethnographies for the 21st century

Panel title: 'Walking back to happiness? Protestant pilgrimage in relation to utopias, realities and heritages'
Panel convenors: Marion Bowman and Tiina Sepp

This panel concentrates on one significant aspect of contemporary pilgrimage: the theologically intriguing trend towards Protestant Pilgrimage. Whether denominational heritage/roots tourism, or a longing for a pre-Reformation world of sensory experiences, this topic deserves focussed attention.

Cathedrals Plus Conference
30th September 2014 to 2nd October 2014
Manchester Cathedral

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