News & Events

Virtual Pilgrim Conference, 17 March 2024

Our virtual conference is for the benefit of Francigena pilgrims who are unable to attend our annual conference in London. This conference features three talks and focuses on the theme of pilgrimage on the Via Francigena: before, during and after the journey.

This event will be hosted by Pilgrims to Rome trustees Eamonn Mullally and Alex Knox. Eamonn is walking in stages along the Francigena and Alex Knox walked Canterbury to Rome in 2022 in several stages.

Book through our Eventbrite page. Once registered, you will receive details of how to join via Zoom a week before the event.


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.

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.

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.

Q&A Pilgrim Panel

Our three speakers and the conference hosts Eamonn Mullally and Alex Knox will be taking questions after the talks, so come prepared with all your planning questions!