CAPTION: Reverend Martin Warren is leading the Mayflower 400 walking pilgrimage

New Mayflower pilgrimage to mark 400th anniversary

Posted: 4th September, 2020

A Devon vicar is leading a new pilgrimage from Dartmouth to Plymouth to mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower this month.

The Reverend Martin Warren and his fellow pilgrims will set off from Dartmouth Embankment on Friday 11 September following a short blessing ceremony.

Rev’d Warren’s route follows the South West Coast Path from Dartmouth to Plymouth and will visit churches along the way.

The walkers will arrive at the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth by ferry at 1pm on Wednesday 16 September, 400 years to the day since the Mayflower set sail.

St Petrox church, Dartmouth, is on the pilgrimage route

The Bishop of Plymouth, the Right Reverend Nick McKinnel, will join them for part of the journey.

Rev’d Warren, Rector for the Torridge team of churches in North Devon, said “Lots of the events to mark the 400th anniversary have had to be cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19.

“I felt it was important to do something to mark the 400th anniversary on 16 September.

“The 11 September, with its resonance here and across the Atlantic, seemed like a good date to start.”

“They kept their vision despite the difficulties they were experiencing”

The Mayflower ship, carrying Protestant Christians in search of new land and greater religious freedom, called in at Dartmouth for repairs before eventually setting sail from Plymouth for America on 16 September 1620.

“The story of the Plymouth Pilgrims is still relevant to us in the Church now. It is about a sense of openness to other interpretations of faith, of different ways of doing church and understanding others.

“We remember that, not only were they were fleeing from persecution, but the incredible difficulties they went through, the false starts.

“They kept their vision despite the hardships they were experiencing.

“It speaks to the time we are living in now.”

The Power of Pilgrimage

Rev’d Warren said the act of walking was a powerful one “Pilgrimage is about the spirituality of the physical. It involves the physical and the visceral, not just the ethereal, especially if you do it over several days.

Anyone interested in joining the pilgrimage can email Rev’d Warren for more details.

The route will form part of the new Devon Pilgrim way, linking north and south Devon.