Church in Wales launches first Google Earth Easter pilgrimage
The Church in Wales is launching its first ever Google Earth virtual pilgrimage this Holy Week.
With many churches still closed due to Covid-19 lockdown, the Church in Wales has created an online pilgrimage route where e-pilgrims can explore some of Wales’ historic churches. Churches taking part have filmed a special video reflection and prayer which have been uploaded to Google Earth along with photos and historical details about the building and local area.
The virtual pilgrimage visits 14 churches across Wales with each church representing one of the 14 Stations of the Cross. Each Station represents an event on Christ’s final journey from his trial to his crucifixion and burial.
The pilgrimage begins at Bangor Cathedral and travels across Wales via St Asaph, Monmouthshire, South Wales, Swansea & Brecon and St Davids. Using Google Earth’s map interface pilgrims can travel virtually across Wales discovering more about the local churches and places of interest.
The Bishop of Bangor, Andy John, lead Bishop for Faith Tourism, says, “The pandemic has been a watershed moment for the Church in Wales, leading to bolder and more innovative church.
“Holy Week is a deeply moving and spiritual event for Christians, but many churches cannot meet in person because of the pandemic. Our virtual pilgrimage provides a unique opportunity for Anglicans across the world to journey together with Christ and explore the rich history of Christianity in Wales from the comfort of their sofa.”
It is hoped that people will feel inspired to visit churches when Covid-19 travel restrictions are relaxed in Wales.
Adds Bishop Andy, “Faith tourism has been hit particularly hard during Covid-19. Tourists are looking for unique ways to connect spiritually with sacred places. We are inviting people to join us online as we bring the story of Easter into their homes.
“When travel restrictions ease, we hope that virtual tourists will have discovered new places to visit in Wales.”
Take part in the spiritual pilgrimage
Click on the link below to start your Holy Week journey across Wales.
How to use Google Earth
Google Earth allows you to explore the world from above with 3D and satellite imagery and 3D. Church in Wales have used the immersive map experience to create spiritual journey that can be viewed on the web or mobile device with the Google Earth app.
- Click on Start Your Pilgrimage link above.
- When Google Maps open you'll see the introductory slide. Click on the arrows next to Table of Contents (bottom of the screen) to move through the Stations.
3. Each Station has an information box which includes a YouTube video, photos of the building and a brief description of the church.
4. Watch the video and then use the arrows in the information box to view the photos and information.
5. Take time to pray and reflect after each Station.