Posted: Fri 16th Feb 2024

Celebrity Pilgrims set off from Flint Castle on spiritual north Wales journey for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Friday, Feb 16th, 2024

A team of celebrity pilgrims have set off from Flint Castle on a spiritual journey across North Wales.

As part of the upcoming sixth series of Pilgrimage, set to air on BBC Two and iPlayer next month, seven well known celebrities of diverse faiths and beliefs are undertaking a 220km trek, exploring the spiritual path that traces the legacy of Celtic early Christian saints.

Their trip, part “Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales”, will culminate at the mystical Bardsey Island, known as the ‘Island of 20,000 saints’.

The cast includes a mix of personalities, each bringing a unique perspective to the pilgrimage.

Participants range from Michaela Strachan, who draws spiritual inspiration from nature, to Spencer Matthews, in search of deeper life meanings.

They’re joined by Sonali Shah, raised in a Jain household; Eshaan Akbar, a lapsed Muslim; Amanda Lovett, a devoted Catholic; Tom Rosenthal, who describes himself as ‘areligious’; and Christine McGuinness, who is broadly spiritual.

Initiating their two-week expedition on foot and by bus, the group sets off from Flint Castle, positioned on the Dee Estuary’s bank.

Their journey meanders along the coastal path to Greenfield Valley, marking the official commencement of their pilgrimage.

This route, established in 2011, weaves through the breathtaking landscapes of Eryri and the North Wales coast, passing historic churches dedicated to sixth and seventh-century saints.

As they trek along the rugged terrain, including the ascent of Mount Snowdon, the pilgrims confront physical and spiritual challenges, from carrying their backpacks to seeking shelter in basic accommodations like caravans and climbers’ huts.

The pilgrimage promises not just a test of endurance but an opportunity for introspection and personal growth.

The celebrities share their motivations for joining the pilgrimage, from Matthews’ quest for religious understanding to McGuinness’ desire for new experiences following her autism diagnosis.

The journey offers Strachan meditation in motion, Lovett a chance for self-discovery, Akbar an unexpected adventure, Shah a deeper exploration of faith, and Rosenthal a break from the ordinary to ponder existential questions.

This series, acclaimed for its fresh take on religious programming, is part of the BBC’s Easter schedule, inviting viewers to reflect alongside the pilgrims.

The journey’s profound impact is echoed by BBC’s Daisy Scalchi and CTVC’s Caroline Matthews, highlighting the personal transformations experienced through the shared adventure.

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