Canterbury is both a destination for those who have travelled the Pilgrim’s Way from Winchester, Rochester or Southwark and the starting point for those en route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
Today, after several years of restoration, Santiago Cathedral reopens for the feast of the Translation of St James.
Tomorrow during Vespers, the Holy Door will be opened for Holy Year pilgrims. In 2021 St James’s Day 25 July falls on a Sunday making next year a Holy Year.
Vespers can be seen live from 3.30pm GMT on New Year’s Eve.
From January there is to be a daily pilgrim Mass at 12 noon.
Although some pilgrims have been arriving during recent months there is a plan being considered to extend the Holy Year into 2022 so as to enable many more to undertake the pilgrimage if the virus can be suppressed across France, Portugal and Northern Spain.
*** The Pilgrims’ Way being also the beginning of paths for Santiago and Rome is explained by former Confraternity of St James secretary Marion Marples at the start of the film To Be a Pilgrim (Southwark to Canterbury) available for free rental online until tomorrow.