Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome Annual General Meeting

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the 10th Annual
General Meeting of the Confraternity of Pilgrims to
Rome will be held at the Conference Room, St James
Church, 197 Piccadilly, at 10.30am on the 11th March
2017 to transact the following business.



1.  Apologies

To be advised.

2.  Minutes of the previous meeting

To be agreed, and matters arising.

3.  Presentation of Annual Report

To receive the annual report for the year ended 31 st December 2016 – Chairman Brian Mooney.

4.  Presentation of Accounts

To receive and consider the accounts for the year ended 31 st December 2016 – Treasurer Robert White.

5.  Election of Steering Group Members

Brian Mooney, Alison Raju, Jim Brodie, Jonas Ewe, Julia Peters, Patrick Tuck, Robert White. 

6. The Accommodation List

New initiatives – Julia Peters.

7.  Any other business

The programme:

1030 – Gather for tea/coffee (supplied)

1100 – AGM formal business

1200 – Mary Kirk

“Walking to Rome – What happens when things don’t quite go to plan.”

1230 - General discussion and Q&A

What do you want to know?  Clothing and footwear, terrain, accommodation, tents climate, time of the year, expense, dogs, language, departure time of year, start point, end point, companions.


St James’s Church is located between Piccadilly and Jermyn Street about 200 yards from Piccadilly Circus. The nearest Underground stations: Piccadilly Circus and Green Park. It is on or near these bus routes: 3/6/9/12/13/14/15/19/22/23/ 88/94/138/139/159.

The Conference Room is located at basement level off a paved footpath, Church Place, on the south side between Piccadilly and Jermyn Street just after Costa and before the church.

New ferry for pilgrims crossing the River Po

Local authorities have supplied Danilo Parisi with a new ferry to carry Via Francigena pilgrims across the River Po. The river crossing  and time spent with Danilo is invariably one of the high points of today’s pilgrim journey to Rome. 

The photo captures the inaugural journey of the San Colombano carrying a group of Tuscan pilgrims on the first passage across the River Po in the New Year.

Danilo runs his ferry back and forth from the quay at Corte Sant’ Andrea to his home at Soprarivo down the same four kilometre sweep of the river that pilgrims in previous generations crossing from Lombardy to Emilia-Romagna would have taken in a boat propelled by sails and oars.

Pilgrims on foot and bicycle can book his ferry by mobile phone (+390523771607). He charges only a modest fee, and chiefly plies the river for the love of it.

The Via Francigena is his passion. Danilo is not just a ferryman; he is one of the gatekeepers of the modern pilgrim journey to Rome.

Danilo keeps a statistical account of pilgrims passing through his domain and we will be updating these shortly with the 2016 figures.

Walking the Via Francigena the Hard Way

    What happens when things don’t go quite to plan

Mary Kirk, 69, will be the guest speaker at this year’s AGM in London on Saturday 11th March.

Mary completed the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome on foot in 2016. However, her journey was not without its difficulties and set-backs, and Mary will speak on and illustrate some of the practical challenges she encountered and will give helpful information on how she tackled them.

Mary describes pilgrimage as “a metaphor for life, with its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, pains and pleasures; with its turning upside-down of plans, its encounters with the unexpected; with the people who cross one’s path, and the people with whom one walks a stretch and more.”

The Annual General Meeting takes place at St James’s Church, 197 Piccadilly, at 10.30 am on Saturday 11th March 2017, and it is open to both members and non-members, to anyone who wants to learn more about the Via Francigena and especially to those who are thinking of joining us.

69-year-old member walking to Rome

CPR member Mary Kirk is currently walking ‘phase two’ of her pilgrimage Canterbury to Rome.  Mary, at 69 years old, is an inspiration in determination as she returns to the Francigena after having had to stop in Vercelli due to a knee injury in the spring of this year.  In the latest post of her blog ( we find Mary just having crossed the Cisa Pass in the Apennines.  Tuscany and the towns of Lucca and Siena lie ahead of her. 

Mary will be speaking at the CPR’s AGM in March, 2017 and we can look forward to an account of her tremendous journey.  Mary describes pilgrimage as“a metaphor for life, with its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, pains and pleasures; with its turning upside-down of plans, its encounters with the unexpected; with the people who cross one’s path, and the people with whom one walks a stretch and more. As in life, it is how one deals with all of this that brings to light one’s true self, and the necessity of transformation.”

If you would like to support Mary in her efforts to raise funds for refugees and the homeless please visit the following websites: (Refugee Action) (Shelter)

Buen camino Mary!

Via Francigena - Being Human

The Via Francigena features in UK’s Being Human Festival

As part of the UK-wide festival entitled ‘Being Human’, the University of Kent has organised a 12 mile walk on the pilgrimage route The Via Francigena.  Participants will begin their experience of the historic route at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Canterbury Cathedral.  Exiting the walled city, the Francigena goes past the Abbey of St. Augustine and St. Martin’s church, the first Christian church in the English-speaking world.  The route takes in the Kent villages of Patrixbourne, Womenswold, and lastly Shepherdswell, where the walk will conclude. 

The Being Human Festival is led by the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, and is being run in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.  Its aim is to engage the public with humanities research that is taking place throughout the UK.  The overall theme for this year is the human experience of hope and fear, which ties in particularly well to the experience of pilgrims through the ages who have journeyed along the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome.  The walk, led by PhD student Julia Peters, from the department of Classics and Archaeology at the University of Kent, offers participants an opportunity to reflect on the experience of pilgrims setting off for unknown lands where their fate rested on the generosity of both man and nature as they covered 1200 miles typically on foot.  

This free event will take place on Sunday, 20 November and will begin at the gates of the Canterbury Cathedral at 9 am and finish at 3pm. 

Follow the festival on Twitter @BeingHumanFest | #BeingHuman16