Coronavirus Update - August 2021

Places are now opening up again, although opening times may not be quite back to normal. Please check for local information.

Close Notice

For a Small Pilgrim Place to be part of the Network it should adhere to the spirit of the Network as a whole.

What is the spirit of the Small Pilgrim Places Network?

The Network is inclusive as it seeks to draw people as pilgrims, across the boundaries of faiths, denominations and spiritual paths, by promoting small ‘breathing spaces’, where all - regardless of faith, race, gender, sexuality or any other identity - can feel welcome as they pause on their journey though life.

These 'breathing spaces' are characterised by the four key elements of Space, Silence, Solitude and Simplicity, encouraging stillness, prayer, and reflection.

The special atmosphere of a Small Pilgrim Place grows out of its life of prayer and from the ongoing and deepening relationship between the Place and those who care for it. The Network supports such Places as they seek to develop in their local contexts.

Being on pilgrimage involves a sense of curiosity. The journey is as important as any arrival. Network members and SPPs 'do not cease from exploring'.

The SPPN Logo is simple and not too precise around the edges, which we hope embodies the essence of the spirit of the Network! The triquetra symbol has ancient pre-Christian roots but is also widely used in Celtic and Christian art, often to indicate the intertwined relationship of the Trinity. We use it to symbolise the Network and the relationships between its parts.

We continue to develop our vision collectively through our National Gathering and AGM (which moves round the country every year) and from other conversations and materials gathered through year.

What is special about Small Pilgrim Places?

What distinguishes a Small Pilgrim Place from many other interesting places worthy of a visit? What is it about their ambiance or their purpose that would bring them into the Network?

Firstly it is important to remember that every SPP is unique so what follows is not prescriptive, nor is it a check list where a certain number of ticks is a pass mark for joining the Network.

Also every SPP, and the people who care for it, are always on their own pilgrim journey of “becoming”, constantly seeking to follow where the spirit is encouraging them to offer quiet, prayer and where possible simple hospitality and thoughtful conversation. Part of this journey also includes involvement in the SPPN mutual exchange of good practice and collective discernment.

Maybe your place is ready to join and publicly welcome visitors or perhaps you would prefer to journey with the Network for a while before posting your place in our directory and on our website – in either case the Core Group are very happy to explore with you where you are and what is the appropriate way forward for you.

A SPP might be an ancient place of worship, many are in rural settings but others are still pools of quiet in the midst of restless cities. Many have a rich history, but their identity as part of the Network should be firmly rooted in the present - it is not enough for a place to have an interesting past - what matters is that it has something special, and above all, a prayerful present.

Some SPPs are not formal places of worship at all – being gardens, monuments, or holy wells. Whatever their form there should be a welcome for all people, with or without a particular faith. They could be small entities within a larger one: e.g. a small garden “room” within a larger one open to the public, a crypt or side chapel within a large church, but the Place should be small enough for one or two people to feel at ease and not overwhelmed.

For a Small Pilgrim Place to be part of the Network it should adhere to the spirit of the Network as a whole.