Holy site set to put Flintshire town on world map

Reporter:

Matt Jones

A PILGRIM trail taking in Flintshire’s most holy site could attract visitors from around the world.

The proposed 110-mile route from Basingwerk Abbey, Holywell, to Bardsey Island off the Llyn Peninsula would take in places of spiritual interest associated with St Beuno and St Winefride.

A committee has now been formed to look at funding for the route which has been proposed by the Dean of St Asaph, the Very Rev Chris Potter and his wife Jenny.

Mr Potter said: “Pilgrimage is a way of taking a journey of self-discovery by taking a step away from normal day-to-day activities, paring down your needs to a minimum, discovering the gift of the companionship of fellow pilgrims and reorienting your life in ways that nurture your spiritual core.

“My own experience is it reconnects you to the world in a way that is quite unique and helps you focus on what really matters in life. That is what a spiritual journey is all about.”

A provisional route has been outlined which would utilise the existing North Wales Costal Path and it is hoped an inaugural walk could take place as early as August.

Mr Potter said: “The first part of the route would be from Basingwerk Abbey to St Winefride’s Well. All the sites have a historical and spiritual importance and have done for many centuries.

“This could attract people from across the world and people will be able to find out about it on the internet. There is an increasing interest, not only in long walks, but also in pilgrimages.”

Mr Potter walked the 750-mile Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail in Spain and said it has regenerated a number of villages on its path.

He added that those taking part in the North Wales walk would require accommodation and hospitality.

Proposals to build a statue of St Winefride in Holywell town centre are also underway in a bid to attract some of the 30,000-yearly visitors to the well into the town.

Cllr Peter Curtis, mayor of Holywell, said: “This is something that can be of great benefit to Holywell. Anything that is going to attract people to Holywell is a good thing.

“We are looking at certain things in Holywell. When this is all up and running it will provide a link so we can attract people from the walk to see the statue and vice-versa.

“I think this can be good for Holywell and the whole of Flintshire.”

A talk by Mr and Mrs Potter on their experiences walking the Camino de Santiago will take place on Friday at Holy Trinity Church in Greenfield.

Tickets priced £7 are available on 01352 715580 or 01352 715723.

See full story in the Leader

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