Pilgrimage and England's Cathedrals

This book looks at England's cathedrals and their relationship with pilgrimage throughout history and in the present day. The volume brings together historians, social scientists, and cathedral practitioners to provide groundbreaking work, comprising a historical overview of the topic, thematic studies, and individual views from prominent clergy discussing how they see pilgrimage as part of the contemporary cathedral experience.


  • Introduction - Dee Dyas and John Jenkins
  • Pilgrimage and Cathedrals in Early Medieval Britain - Jonathan M. Wooding
  • Pilgrimage and Cathedrals in the Later Middle Ages - Eamon Duffy
  • Visiting England's Cathedrals from the Reformation to the Early Nineteenth Century - Ian Atherton
  • Pilgrimage and Cathedrals in the Victorian Era - Elizabeth Macfarlane
  • Pilgrimage and Cathedrals from the 1900s to the Present Day - Michael Tavinor
  • The Multivalent Cathedral - Simon Coleman and John Jenkins
  • Cathedrals, Community, and Identity - John Jenkins and Tiina Sepp
  • The Role of Sensory Engagement with Place: Past and Present - Dee Dyas
  • Leaving and Taking Away: Cathedrals and Material Culture - Marion Bowman and John Jenkins
  • Canterbury and Becket Today - Christopher Irvine
  • Pilgrimage and Cathedrals Today - Michael Tavinor
  • Cultivating Pilgrimage to Westminster Cathedral - Mark Langham
  • Pilgrimage, Cathedral, and Shrines Today - John Inge
  • Afterword - Grace Davie

"A brilliant breakthrough in pilgrimage studies. An exemplary study that shows how to bring together different academic and institutional interests in a common cause – understanding the relationship between pilgrimage and English cathedrals over time. A publication that will, hopefully, inspire similar collaborative studies around the globe."
John Eade, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Roehampton, UK

"People who oversee, minister, lead worship, guide, welcome, manage, market, promote and maintain cathedrals will find this book an indispensable treasure. It is aware of the awesome complexity inherent in cathedral life but it doesn’t duck the issues: its clear-eyed focus is on the way people experience cathedrals and how these extraordinary holy places can speak and connect with all the diversity represented by the people who come to them. In a spiritually-hungry age, this book shows us how to recognise and meet that hunger. This book will be required reading for all us “insiders” trying to invite and signpost access to holy ground."
The Very Reverend Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, Chair of the Association of English Cathedrals

Front cover of publication
Full citation

Dyas, D. and Jenkins, J. 2020. Pilgrimage and England's Cathedrals. Palgrave Macmillan.