Throughout history Christians have gone on pilgrimages. Leaving comforts and distractions at home, the pilgrim travels to a place of spiritual significance; a place of holiness, which is set apart from daily life.

It is hoped that our picturesque rural location, combined with the beauty and history of the Church will entice all who seek to explore more about God, Christianity and the Church to come on pilgrimage to Drayton Beauchamp.

St Mary’s will be open Wednesdays and Saturdays from April to the end of September, but one other occasions a key can be borrowed from one of the church wardens; please see the notice in the porch.

MAGE 2011

St Mary’s has been selected to feature on the Diocese of Oxford’s Pilgrimage Map for 2011.

The map will form part of the diocesan Pilgrim Project, which has come out of Living Faith vision, is all about promoting the theme of pilgrimage as a way of linking the two priorities, “Sustaining the Sacred Centre” and “Making Disciples”.

The map, which will be produced as a poster as well as a foldable pocket leaflet, will feature 15 places across the diocese of particular spiritual significance. The map will explain a little about each place, and why it has been chosen. For each place there will also be a linked leaflet with prayer resources and ideas, to help visitors get the most out of their visits.

The fifteen places were chosen in consultation with Area Bishops and Archdeacons, and are spread right across the three counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire which make up the diocese. The criteria for the places were that they were of particular spiritual significance, were beautiful and holy places to visit, and have a story to tell.

Bishop John hopes to visit each place featured in August this year.

Other resources supporting the Pilgrim Project are Pilgrimage: A Simple Guide (a leaflet in the series Prayer and Reading the Bible: A Simple Guide), and two new books, Pocket Prayers for Pilgrims edited by Bishop John and ‘Every Place is Holy’ by Sally Welch, who is a priest in Oxford.

The map will be illustrated by local artist Brian Hall, and published in May.