Patron: The Hon. Susan Cunliffe-Lister, Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire
In 2013, Bridlington Priory celebrates the 900th anniversary of its foundation. The Priory is now a parish church, but was once one of the richest and most famous Augustinian religious houses in the north of England, with its own saint – St John of Bridlington – who was the last person to be canonised in England before the Reformation. Partly because of the cult that grew around St John, the Priory became a well-known pilgrimage centre, with people from all over Yorkshire and beyond coming to the saint’s impressive shrine.
Pilgrimage for All: York Minster to Bridlington Priory
Over the 2013 August Bank Holiday weekend, Priory 900 organized a pilgrimage walk from York Minster to Bridlington Priory across the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds. The whole walk took place over a week, with pilgrims setting off from York Minster on Thursday 22nd August and arriving at Bridlington Priory on Wednesday 28th August for a celebratory service. The route included visits to historic sites such as Kirkham Priory and the deserted village of Wharram Percy and pilgrims engaged with the communities where they stopped each day.
Like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Pilgrimage was open to all; it could be joined a devotional exercise, a charitable endeavour, or simply for the pleasure of the journey and the company. Participants had the option to do the full 70 mile walk or choose just one or more stages.
Priory Walking Club: Beverley Minster to Bridlington Priory
A separate pilgrimage from Beverley Minster to Bridlington Priory (26th – 28th August) was organised by and for the Priory Walking Club. This pilgrimage linked two St Johns – St John of Beverley and St John of Bridlington.
The Beverley pilgrims met up with the pilgrims travelling from York Minster on the final day (Wednesday 28th August) for a celebratory service at Bridlington Priory.