Will Parsons (Director & Co-Founder)
Author + Wandering Minstrel
Will has been pioneering new directions for British pilgrimage since 2004. Co-founder of the BPT, Author and Wandering Minstrel, Will has taken British pilgrimage from BBC1 to World Service to Vogue Magazine.
Dr. Guy Hayward (Trustee & Co-Founder)
Singer + Psychologist
Guy is co-founder and treasurer of the British Pilgrimage Trust. A key member of BPT exhibition and guided pilgrimages, Guy specialises in the formation of community through song, and runs the website choralevensong.org.
Janet Astor (Patron)
Duchess of Richmond
A life-long enthusiast of myths and ancient history, as well as a psychotherapist, the Duchess of Richmond is helping the BPT to fundraise and network in order to establish the Old Way route which passes near the Goodwood Estate, Chichester.
Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (Patron)
Author + Biologist
Rupert is author of many popular books on modern science. He is known for asking the questions other scientists prefer to ignore, such as in his book The Science Delusion. Rupert's latest pilgrimage experiments have focussed on the potential role of pilgrimage in the relationship between god-parents and god-children.
Georgina Fitzalan-Howard (Patron)
Duchess of Norfolk + Pilgrim
The Duchess has been working directly with the BPT to spread awareness of the plans for the SDPW in and around her family seat, Arundel Castle, which is on the route. A passionate pilgrim and big supporter of our plans to have pilgrims sleeping in churches.
Robin Bridgeman (Patron)
3rd Viscount Bridgeman + Peer + Politician + Knight
Robin is one of 90 elected hereditary Peers in the House of Lords. A keen and regular pilgrim to Lourdes, he has graciously offered his patronage to the BPT's mission to revive pilgrimage in Britain.
Peter Owen Jones (Patron)
Broadcaster + Author + Vicar
Vicar of Firle, Sussex, Peter is well known as BBC1's 'Extreme Pilgrim', as well as for his many books. With his extensive global pilgrimage experience, Peter is champion of our drive for churches to serve as pilgrim accommodation.
William Cartwright-Hignett (Trustee)
Estate Partner + Charities Chairman
William is a regular pilgrim and entrepreneur whose interests lie primarily in tea and the heritage sector. William has over a decade of experience managing and chairing voluntary and representative bodies, and developing early stage companies.
Dr. Merlin Sheldrake (Trustee)
Mycologist + Ecologist + Musician
Merlin’s recent work has focussed on the symbiotic relationship between mycorrhizal fungi and plants, and how fungal networks may connect different plants together underground. During his time working in tropical forests in Panama, he made many pilgrimages to find rare plants that connect to these fungal networks in unusual ways. He is also an accomplished accordionist, pianist and folk singer.
Penny Furniss (Trustee)
Penny is an award-winning communications expert and has been working with the BPT to develop our long term strategy. She is a Fellow Commoner at Downing College, Cambridge, and writes freelance for Conde Nast Traveller.
Peter Gangsted (Trustee)
Executive Management + Private Equity
Peter spent half his career with Unilever running various businesses around the world, both small to large, initially as finance director and later as operations and managing director. In private equity, Peter was a founding partner of Allianz Capital Partners based in Munich, the direct investment arm of Allianz AG, before becoming a partner of Cinven, the pan-European private equity investor.
Sir Simon Jenkins (Advisor)
Author + Newspaper Columnist + Editor
Simon served as editor of the Evening Standard from 1976 to 1978 and of The Times from 1990 to 1992, and chaired the National Trust from 2008 to 2014. He currently writes columns for both The Guardian and Evening Standard, and sits on the committee of the Churches Conservation Trust and English Churches and Cathedrals Sustainability Commission Review.
Satish Kumar (Advisor)
Activist + Editor + Earth Pilgrim
Satish has been a Jain monk, nuclear disarmament advocate, pacifist, and editor of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. He is founder and Director of Programmes of the Schumacher College international centre for ecological studies, and of The Small School. He is known for a peace walk with a companion to the capitals of four of the nuclear-armed countries – Washington, London, Paris and Moscow – a pilgrimage of over 8,000 miles.
Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner (Advisor)
Bishop of Chichester
The Diocese of Chichester stretches from Chichester in the West, to East Grinstead in the North, and as far East as Rye. The Diocese therefore contains the majority of our proposed route from Southampton to Canterbury, and therefore we are thrilled that Bishop Martin has pledged his support.
Dr. Robert Macfarlane (Advisor)
Author + Academic
Award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane is an expert guide to the wonder and wildness of Britain. We are lucky to have his advice and support in taking British pilgrimage forward.
Jill Purce (Advisor)
Teacher + Therapist + Author
Jill wrote the book 'The Mystic Spiral'- detailing the way of the spiral journey in all cultures, which is the fundamental nature of pilgrimage. She teaches people how to discover their spiritual connection through voice and ritual, both at her home in Hampstead and around the world. She is a key advisor on designing the ritual elements of pilgrimage to be as appropriate and powerful as possible.
Dr. Kathryn Barush (Advisor)
Academic + Historian + Artist + Pilgrim
Kathryn has a particular interest in the art and material culture associated with pilgrimage, especially in the British Isles, which was the subject of her dissertation (Oxford, 2012) and first book. She is Asst. Professor of Art History and Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA where she has been developing a curriculum of pilgrimage studies that involves walking, trekking, and exploring sacred art in context.
John Brierley (Advisor)
Camino Pilgrim Guide Author
John is a pilgrim pioneer who has made pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela 100 times, walked the Camino Frances about 50 times, and the other 50 pilgrimages have been along the other Camino routes, Portugues, Ingles etc. John's guidebooks to the Camino have sold hundreds of thousands of copies, have been printed in 20 editions and translated into Korean, Russian and other languages too.
Patrick Holden CBE (Advisor)
Farmer + Activist
Patrick is the founding director of the Sustainable Food Trust, which works internationally to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable food systems, and was the founding chairman of British Organic Farmers in 1982.
Martin Palmer (Advisor)
Campaigner + Broadcaster
Martin is the Secretary General of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), and Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture (ICOREC). Martin is also a regular contributor to the BBC on religious, ethical and historical issues, and has written various books, including ‘Sacred Britain: A Guide to the Sacred Sites and Pilgrim Routes’.
Emma Bridgewater (Advisor)
Ceramicist + Rural Campaigner
Emma runs the British ceramics manufacturer ‘Emma Bridgewater’, based in Stoke on Trent. In 2016, she was made President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, a charity that was formed in 1926 to limit urban sprawl and ribbon development. The CPRE campaigns for a ‘sustainable future for the countryside’.
Operations and Research Consultant
Jonathan joined the BPT as a freelance consultant in 2017, following a PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge where he studied the operations of UK environmental organisations. He assists the Trust’s strategic development and fundraising activities.
Web and Publications Consultant
India joined the BPT in 2017, as an accomplished project manager, bringing a wealth of experience from the publishing and creative industries. She advises on the design of the BPT’s website and brings her keen editorial eye to the production of the BPT’s written materials.
Alice joined the BPT in 2017, having studied the role of literature and the landscape at the University of Cambridge, and honed her event production skills in the city’s thriving theatre scene. She now works as a freelance events manager for the Trust, and handles our email account.
Prof Ronald Hutton
A leading authority on history of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, on ancient and medieval paganism and magic, and on the global context of witchcraft beliefs. Also the leading historian of the ritual year in Britain and of modern paganism.
Author and Psychologist
Philip was asked to lead the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids in 1988, and since then the Order has grown to become the largest Druid teaching order in the world, now 20,000 strong. He combines this role with writing, and giving talks and workshops.