Canon Andrew Tawn on Pilgrimage

Andrew Tawn.

The theme of this year’s Lent course will be Pilgrimage, as 2020 is to be the Year of Pilgrimage for all cathedrals across the country.
It is a rich theme, and can be taken both literally and metaphorically. We will be looking at what makes places holy, and spiritual journeys through the Bible, through the liturgy, and through our personal lives.
The Lent Groups this year will be led by Andrew Tawn, Director of Clergy Development and one of this cathedral’s honorary canons.

Session 1: Wednesday 11th March
Holy Ways and Sacred Places:

We’ll be thinking about the two main aspects of pilgrimage: the journey and the destination, both literally and symbolically. What does the experience of pilgrimage tells us about the ‘journey of life’, and our ‘faith journey’? Celtic Christianity talks about ‘thin’ places, where heaven feels much nearer than usual. In what ways do you find Bradford cathedral a sacred place? What other places are special for you and why? What is it that makes us say of certain places, ‘Truly God is in this place’?


Session 2: This is His Story: This is Our Story:
In this session we’ll be looking at the journey of the Bible from Creation to the end of time. The Bible is many things, but above all it is a story. When we read a story we go on a journey; we identify with the characters, we share their ups and downs, and if it is a great book (as the Bible undoubtedly is), then we find that we are changed by it. What are the great themes we encounter on this journey? What resonates with our own story? How does the Bible help us to make sense of our own journey through life? Where are you on your own faith journey?


Audio version

Video version


Session 2 script

Session 2 questions

Session 3: ‘A journey into the heart of the love of God’
The preface to Common Worship says this: ‘Worship itself is a pilgrimage – a journey into the heart the heart of the love of God’. In this session we’ll be looking at the journey we go on during each act of worship. An ‘order of service’ is carefully structured so that each section follows on in response to the previous one, and leads us on into the next, like the movements of a symphony. Then each act of worship is part of the larger cycle of the church year which in itself re-enacts the journey of Jesus’ life and ministry. In which parts of the service, and the church year, do you feel closest to God?

Audio Version



Video Version



Session 3 script

Session 3 questions