News & Events

Annual conference 2 March, 2024

The Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome will hold its annual conference on 2 March, at St. George’s Cathedral in Southwark. The Pilgrims to Rome conference is a wonderful opportunity to hear pilgrim tales of their experiences on the Via Francigena and to learn from fellow pilgrims on how to plan your own amazing journey on this historic route.

The day will begin, for those who are able to join, with a guided walk from Westminster Cathedral (RC) to the conference venue of St. George’s Cathedral. The walk will be guided by the Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome’s vice-chair Brian Mooney, who has walked both to Rome and back, and trustee Eamonn Mullally, an official City of London tour guide. Please book the walk separately from the conference.

Tickets can be booked for the walk and the conference separately for £5 each or free to members. If you have not received your members discount code, please contact (

The official conference events will begin at 1 pm at Amigo Hall at St. George’s Cathedral, Southwark. Tea and coffee will be served from 12.30 pm.

Conference programme:

A Welcome by The Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome by Nick Dunne (Chair)

Update – ‘The Francigena Britannica’

A brief update on the CPR’s extension of the Francigena from London to Canterbury.

Dawn Champion – ‘Walking Alone’

Dawn Champion, head of community engagement at the British Pilgrimage Trust, will speak on the topic of preparing for pilgrimage and walking alone.

Dr. Philip McCarthy – ‘Life after the Via Francigena’

Phil has been interested in long distance walking for many years and in 2008 he walked from Canterbury to Rome alone. This experience awakened an interest in pilgrimage and made him realise that he was a pilgrim! In 2015 he walked on from Rome to Istanbul. He has written books about both pilgrimages.

As project lead of Pilgrim Ways, Phil is working on developing and trialling a walking pilgrimage route in each of the 22 Catholic dioceses of England & Wales starting at the cathedral of the diocese and ending at a shrine within the same diocese.

David Andrews ‘Why walk the Via Francigena’

David Andrews works as an ecologist and adviser for Natural England. He took a career break in 2023 to undertake the Via Francigena on foot from Canterbury to Rome and will be talking about his experiences during the 4 month journey. He will discuss his motivations and the highlights and challenges of the journey, including how he approached the constraints presented by Schengen rules.

Q&A Pilgrim Panel

Come prepared with all your planning questions for the expert pilgrim panel.

Volunteer with the Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome

CPR trustees will be available to talk to anyone who would be interested in helping our work supporting pilgrims on the Via Francigena. The more volunteers we have, the more great work we can do to promote the wonderful Via Francigena!

Credentials and guidebooks

You will be able to purchase Pilgrims to Rome credentials, badges and guidebooks on the day. Credit cards accepted.

Join us or renew your membership

Membership secretary Tim Greig will be available to sign up new members or to renew any lapsed memberships. We will be able to accept card payments and you will receive your membership pack immediately, including your CPR pilgrim credentials and badge. If you prefer not to wait – sign up on our website: Pilgrims to Rome Membership

Social Drinks!

From 3.30 onwards, we will start to move on to the Three Stags Pub for more opportunities to ask planning questions to experienced pilgrims and to share Francigena stories.

Dawn Champion
David Andrews