Pilgrimage to Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral has been a place of pilgrimage ever since it was built to house the shrine of St Cuthbert. Today people still come to visit his tomb in the Feretory, and that of Bede in the Galilee Chapel. Others come because Durham Cathedral is a place of prayer, and people of many faiths speak of experiencing a sense of being in a sacred space when they enter the Cathedral.
Please see the ‘Information for Visitors’ for further details about visiting the Cathedral.
If you are coming with the specific intention that your visit should be a pilgrimage, we have a pilgrims' guide to the Cathedral, written by the Dean, which guides you around the Cathedral with readings, reflections and prayers that relate to what you see at several different parts of the Cathedral. Please allow a good period of time for your pilgrimage so that you are not rushed.
Every weekday at 12.30pm there is a celebration of Holy Communion in the Cathedral to which all visitors are very welcome. The stewards will be able to tell you which chapel this is in on the day that you visit. Often pilgrims join the Cathedral community at Morning Prayer and Evensong or Evening Prayer.
St Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede are both buried in the Cathedral, and there are historic associations with many other of the northern saints. The Aidan, Hild and Margaret altars in the Chapel of the Nine Altars all have beautiful altar frontals and kneelers worked by the Cathedral Broderers which reflect aspects of the lives of these saints and the communities in which they lived. There are many other places of pilgrimage within an easy drive of Durham that are associated with the northern saints and a visit to Durham Cathedral can be part of a wider pilgrimage within the north east region. More information can be found on the Christian Heritage of Northumbria website.
Join a pilgrimage group
The Cathedral was for many centuries a Benedictine monastic foundation and the Benedictine tradition is a very significant part of our heritage and our life today. Since 2007, we have been offering Benedictine weekends which provide the opportunity for a small group of people to explore aspects of the Benedictine tradition within the context of the Cathedral. These weekends include regular worship with the Cathedral community, and various talks or group events led by some of the Cathedral clergy which focus on aspects of the Rule of Benedict and the traditional vows of stability, obedience and conversion of life, and their relevance for us in our lives today. Further information and a booking form can be found on the University website.
The dates are as follows:
- Benedictine Weekends
- 17th – 21st September 2012