Our Team

Executive Team

Dr. Guy Hayward

Director & Co-Founder

Guy co-founded the British Pilgrimage Trust, after completing a PhD at Cambridge on how singing forms community. Guy also runs the website choralevensong.org and is one half of musical comedy duo Bounder & Cad.

Dawn Champion

Head of Community Engagement

Dawn has had a career with English Heritage, working on several award-winning projects at some of the most significant places across the South East, before moving to Kent Wildlife Trust to lead delivery of the volunteering and visitor experience programmes. She also volunteers for charities that connect children with the magic of nature.


Simon Guild (Chair)

Chair of Trustees

Simon has 15 years’ experience as a non-executive director helping founders build online businesses. These include Babbel, a language learning business, 8Fit, an online fitness company, Spreadshirt, which customises apparel, Picfair, a photographer platform & Get Licensed, a security training business. He has been a trustee of Blood Cancer UK for 8 years and a fellow of the RSA for 20 years and was previously CEO of MTV Networks Europe. He is currently engaged in a pilgrimage connecting the greatest cathedrals of Britain.

William de Winton


William is a retired member of Lansdowne Partners and a former Managing Director of Morgan Stanley. He spent much of his career following the financial sector. He sits on a number of charity boards and is a founding Trustee of Unlocking Potential. He is also a founding Trustee of the SpringBoard Bursary Foundation which is the UK’s largest boarding school bursary charity.

Abigail Rowe


Abigail works professionally with three charities, primarily in a fundraising capacity. She is currently walking the bounds of England, in a bid to keep learning more about our amazing heritage.

Simon Hillson


Simon spent most of his career as a solicitor at leading City law firm Macfarlanes, where he trained and was a partner for over 20 years, latterly as head of the real estate practice. Simon is excited to be combining his legal skill with his love for walking.


Janet Astor

Psychotherapist + Mythologist

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.

Emma Bridgewater

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. She is also a keen supporter of church heritage conservation.

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake

Biologist + Scientist of Spiritual Practices

Rupert is a biologist and 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.

Robin Bridgeman

Life Peer

Robin is one of 90 elected hereditary Peers in the House of Lords, and a keen and regular pilgrim to Lourdes.

Sir Simon Jenkins

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.

Dame Fiona Reynolds

Academic + Conservationist

A former Director of the National Trust, Dame Fiona Reynolds is the Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and the Chair of the Cathedrals Commission. A noted campaigner and media figure, her recent book, The Fight For Beauty, traces the historical precedents for conservation by policymakers and poets alike — alongside her own lifelong dedication to beautiful landscapes. During her tenure at the National Trust, Dame Fiona raised the charity’s profile from 2.7 million to 4 million members.

Dr Merlin Sheldrake

Mychorrizal Scientist & Author

Merlin’s recent work has focused on the symbiotic relationship between mycorrhizal fungi and plants, and how fungal networks may connect different plants together underground, culminating in the best-selling book Entangled Life. 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.

Satish Kumar

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.

Lord Richard Chartres


Former Bishop of London, Richard was made a life peer of the House of Lords, having formerly served as a Lord Spiritual.

Dr. Robert Macfarlane

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.

Sir Richard Long

Walking Artist

Richard Long has been in the vanguard of conceptual art in Britain since 1967, the year he created A Line Made by Walking, an original and poetic work which became a precedent for art as a journey. Through this medium of walking, new subjects for his art became time, space and distance, observed in wilderness regions all over the world. Enigmatically he made Dry Walk – 113 walking miles between one shower of rain and the next. He is maybe the first person to have walked in a straight line across Dartmoor.

Peter Gangsted

Former BPT Chair 2016-22

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.

Philip Carr-Gomm

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.

Prof Ronald Hutton

British Historian

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.

Phoebe Smith 

Adventurer + Author + Wander Woman Podcast Host

Phoebe is passionate about using adventure to help others. She is President of the Long Distance Walkers Association, a multi-award-winning travel writer, photographer and broadcaster, and author of 10 books, with her next one, Wayfarer: Love, Loss and Life on Britain’s Ancient Paths, published in 2024 by HarperCollins, charting her journey as a non-religious soul to overcome past traumas by walking multiple pilgrim paths.

Patrick Holden CBE

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. He sees the potential for pilgrimage to reconnect us with our land.

Martin Palmer

Campaigner + Broadcaster

Martin is the Honorary President of FaithInvest, the Chair of the International Network on Conservation and Religion (INCR) as well as Senior faith advisor to WWF International. He is also 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’.

Tristan Gooley

Author and Natural Navigator

Tristan is an author and natural navigator. He has led expeditions on five continents, climbed mountains across the globe. He has flown and sailed single-handed across the Atlantic, and is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and the Royal Geographical Society.

Dr. Kathryn Barush

Assoc. Professor with Tenure, Berkeley

Kathryn Barush (D.Phil Oxon) has a particular interest in the art and material culture associated with pilgrimage.  Her second book is Imaging Pilgrimage: Art as Embodied Experience (Bloomsbury: August 2021). She is Assoc. Prof of Art History and Religion at the Berkeley, CA Graduate Theological Union where she is in the process of founding a centre for art and interfaith pilgrimage (@pilgrim_travels).

Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner

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 – i.e. the majority of our proposed route from Southampton to Canterbury – and therefore we are thrilled that Bishop Martin has pledged his support for the route.

Nick Mayhew-Smith

Holy Place Expert (Network Dept)

Nick has written a number of books about sacred places and the landscape, most notably Britain’s Holiest Places (2011), which was made into a BBC Four television series. He recently completed a PhD on Celtic nature spirituality, which forms the basis of his latest book The Naked Hermit (2019).

Jill Purce

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, and advises us on designing the ritual elements of pilgrimage to be as appropriate as possible.

Peter Owen Jones

Visionary Priest

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 Sanctuary accommodation.