News and Events

2021 Annual Conference Programme

March 8, 2021

We are delighted to announce the programme for our 2021 annual conference, to be held online via Zoom. The conference will be spread over two sessions, three weeks apart, at times when we hope our friends from both North America and Australasia will be able to join us.

Both sessions will be on a ‘donativo’ basis, and virtual tickets are available from Eventbrite (links below) at a suggestion donation of £5.00.

Part 1 Practical pilgrim session
Friday 26 March 20h GMT

After a short introduction by CPR chair, Carlo Laurenzi, our panel of experienced pilgrims will talk about pilgrimage on the Via Francigena, and answer any questions you may have on the practicalities of walking to Rome – and beyond.

Our panel:

Vicky Williamson, a CPR member from Auckland, New Zealand. Vicky graduated from long-distance running to walking pilgrimage in 2013 when she walked from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela and on to Muxía and then Oporto. Since then she has walked the Via Francigena as a solo woman in 2017, the Cammino di San Tommaso in 2018, and her 88 Temple Pilgrim Trail on Shikoku last year was interrupted by Covid-19.

David Matthews, the youngest of the Confraternity’s Board of Trustees, walked the Via Francigena on a budget in 2018, stopping on the way to lend a hand at the Auberge des Migrants in Calais.

Brian Mooney, former chair of the Confraternity and a serial distance walker, wrote about his walk to Rome in “A Long Way for a Pizza” (2012) and followed this by walking back to his home in Essex which he recorded in “The Wrong Way for a Pizza” (2013). Both available from our online shop.

Part 2 An exploration of the call of pilgrimage, and of the rediscovery of the Via Francigena
Friday 16 April 20h BST (GMT+1)

1. Giovanni Caselli “The rediscovery of the Via Francigena”

Any pilgrim on the VF today owes a debt of gratitude to Giovanni Caselli, the Italian medieval historian, who re-mapped Sigeric’s route in 1985 with the help of Italy’s Military Geographical Institute, and a band of enthusiasts who faithfully followed Sigeric’s stopping places. The results of his reconstruction were published in Florence in 1990, the 1000th anniversary of Sigeric’s journey, as “La Via Romea, Cammino di Dio” – the first modern guide to the Via Francigena.

2. Canon Emma Pennington “Why become a pilgrim? From medieval to modern, the therapeutic call of the road.”

The Revd Dr Emma Pennington is Canon Missioner of Canterbury Cathedral, and as such is concerned with this great cathedral’s place in the history of pilgrimage, and with pilgrims themselves. Canon Pennington’s doctorate was on the great 14th-century mystic, Julian of Norwich. After serving as chaplain to Worcester College and parish ministry, and has taught and run courses on spirituality and prayer. She was installed as Canon Missioner in March 2019.


Book your tickets here:


We hope to make recordings of these events available after the conference.

We greatly look forward to seeing you at these events.