On 16-17 May 2017 was held in the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral (United Kingdom) the conference marking the start of the five-year Green Pilgrimage project funded by Interreg Europe, which aims to promote awareness and growth of environmentally friendly pilgrimage.
Among the topics discussed during the conference, two Cultural Routes certified by the Council of Europe were presented, The Santiago De Compostela Pilgrim Routes (1987) and The Saint Olav Ways (2010), emphasizing the development of pilgrimage over the years: Santiago de Compostela has grown in Spain from less than 5,000 pilgrims in 1991 to more than 277,000 pilgrims last year, and the Way of St Olav in Norway is growing by 30 per cent a year, from 165 pilgrims in 2010 to more than 10,000 pilgrims annually today. Two other pilgrimage routes are certified "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" : The Via Francigena (1994) and The Saint Martin of Tours Route (2005).
Stefano Dominioni, Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes / Executive secretary of the EPA on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, stressed during the conference how the Cultural Routes offer tangible and intangible resources and help local community to value their local heritage, but also the importance of local and regional authorities investing in these routes to ensure positive consequences for the environment, as well as opportunities for new jobs and/or income.
Flickr album of the event: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dioceseofcanterbury/albums/72157683909485565