Lent Lilies, or daffodils, are out at Lesnes Abbey as the garden and woods recover from the snow.
Pilgrims from Southwark pass through Lesnes Abbey on their way from Shooters Hill to Dartford on Day 2.
The Abbey, now an outline of stones, is dedicated to St Thomas Becket.
Tradition holds that the daffodils are descendants of those planted by the Augustinian monks. Although daffodils were brought to Britain by the Romans there is no record of when they first appeared in the Abbey grounds.
The wood round the Abbey’s south side is also noted for its bluebells which will appear shortly.
The monastic farm site on the west side now has a garden and a cafe counter called Abbey Good Coffee (open Tue-Sun until 4pm in summer).
Pilgrimage can be made in many ways, by luxury group travel, on foot or by bike. But it does not need to be expensive or painful.
A free one day event at Southwark Cathedral on Saturday 24 February will offer advice from experienced pilgrims on how to prepare yourself physically and practically with suitable kit, how to pack a rucksack and how to prevent blisters.
Pilgrim routes to be discussed include the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain.
During the morning there will be a showing of the film The Way: Camino de Santiago.
An illustrated talk on the Winchester to Canterbury Pilgrims’ Way route, by Pilgrims’ Way author Leigh Hatts, follows the lunch break at 2pm.
On the fifth Day of Christmas 847 years ago Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.
This Friday 29 December the anniversary will be kept with a special evensong at 3.15pm.
Becket died as Vespers was starting.
So during sung evensong at Canterbury Cathedral there is a procession to the Martyrdom where a few lines from TS Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral are read. Afterwards the procession continues to the crypt where Becket’s body was first laid.
His eventual shrine upstairs became the object of the great pilgrimage along the Pilgrims’ Way.
With pilgrimage expert Marion Marples I shall be leading a Saturday morning mini pilgrimage from Southwark to the Old Kent Road on 21 October.
It will be a walk from Southwark Cathedral attempting to go in the steps of Geoffrey Chaucer, and many others, a couple of miles into Old Kent Road.
We shall look at the site of the Tabard Inn, call at St George the Martyr to get a pilgrim stamp and hear about its history, and then down to the Thomas A Becket pub for another stamp and a chance for refreshment for those who want it.
On the way we can think of links with places further down the route into Kent.
After the Thomas A Becket those still with energy can walk a little further to the old Civic Centre in Peckham to view the murals which includes medieval pilgrims on the same route.
The walk is on Saturday 21 October starting in Southwark Cathedral at 9.45am, after the 9.15am Eucharist.