Katherine Armitage and Stewart Johnston were inspired to create and walk the first ‘Camino Jesus & Joseph’, in modern times, having studied the evidence for the visits of Joseph of Arimathea and Jesus to England 2000 years ago. Between 13th-23rd October they made the journey, they could have taken, along the stunningly beautiful Devon/Somerset coastal paths linking the sacred sites of: Cranleigh House, (associated with Jesus and Joseph), Holdstone Down, (The Holy Mountain on Exmoor associated with Jesus channeling energy through the Yogi Master George King on 23rd July 1958 ), Sister’s Fountain (at County Gate), St Decuman’s Well, St Agnes Fountain (Bossington Hill) and many other wonderful places, finishing in The Chalice Well International Peace Garden in Glastonbury, covering the 100 miles in nine days.
Stewart said, ‘Walking along this way, brings peace to the soul. With all the strife that is going on in the world, when we concentrate on something good, like this, it has a transformative power’.
Katherine says, ‘We could see the possibility of translating the idea of the Camino Santiago de Compostela, ‘The Way of Saint James’, in Northern Spain, to our ancient and beautiful paths of the North Devon and Somerset coast, also associated with fascinating religious history, myths and legends and to create a Peace Camino here based on the same principles. People can enjoy this English Camino on so many different levels, it can be simply a hike in nature or, a walk with many deeper connections to the self, to the sacredness of the land and the ‘ancestors’, to the stories of Joseph of Arimathea and Jesus, the choice is down to the walker’.
The events of 2000 years ago deserve to be honoured and recognised in walks that are beautiful and can inspire us to live up to the ideals of Jesus and Joseph of Arimathea whether we consider ourselves to be religious or believe in them or not. Everyone can appreciate the common sense wisdom of the saying: ‘treat others as you would be treated yourself’.
Visiting and walking between the sacred sites, many of which are rather neglected, reenergises the old ways and paths and brings back their power of healing. The old churches are usually built on even older sites and often on ley lines. The ‘altar’ was so called as it was built in a place of high energy which could take people to a higher or ‘altared’ state of consciousness. If we can look past the buildings and feel the power of the land and the connecting energy of these sites, it lends a whole different dimension to the walk. The churches and wells are the outcroppings of a deeper story, which we can all tap into.
This was our first Camino in the UK and we are planning more, to link with other sacred sites.