Good news from Canterbury and the English route of the Via Francigena. Below is the news from the Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome, friends of the EAVF.
In March, The Kent Downs, a partner in the Green Pilgrimage Project, was approved for €124,040 in funding by Interreg Europe to invest in the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Dover.
This is the final stage of the Green Pilgrimage Project in which six European regions in the UK, Romania, Norway, Sweden and Italy (Apulia region was the Italian partner of this project) exchanged best practices in managing and promoting pilgrimage routes.
The Kent Downs has been awarded this funding to carry out a pilot project on the UK sections of the Francigena, drawing on lessons learned during this exchange in practice. For those CPR members who have already experienced the VF from Canterbury to Dover, you will have noticed that although the route is well-maintained and quite easy to follow, there is little evidence that you are actually on the Francigena.
Francigena signage is easy to miss and there are few pilgrim-friendly provisions. This funding will be used to install new and more consistent signage, information boards at places of historic interest, sculpted benches at scenic spots where pilgrims can rest and take in the views and water points.
The Kent Downs are aiming to install the new signage by spring 2021. Some delays are expected because of the current limitations caused by the coronavirus. However, the project leaders at The Kent Downs are optimistic that improvements to the route will installed in time for the first pilgrims setting out on the route once restrictions are lifted.
The designs for the signage are currently going through the approval process and we expect to be able to ‘unveil’ them in the next e-newsletter of the Cofraternity Pilgrims to Rome.
Source: Confraternity Pilgrims to Rome