Bishop of Wrexham features on BBC series that follows celebrity pilgrims across North Wales

On Good Friday, 29th March, the BBC screens the first of three hour-long episodes of its series ‘Pilgrimage’ following seven celebrity pilgrims, of differing faiths and beliefs, on a spiritual journey across North Wales.

This, the sixth series of BBC Two’s ‘Pilgrimage’, takes the well-known personalities along the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way. The route celebrates Celtic early Christian saints, and concludes at Bardsey Island, or Ynys Enlli, Snowdonia’s “Isle of 20,000 saints” situated off the western tip of the Llyn Peninsula.

The series features the Catholic National Shrine at Holywell where Bishop Peter Brignall, Bishop of Wrexham, was filmed for a segment.

“Within hours of beginning their pilgrimage the celebrity pilgrims came to their first station, Saint Winefride’s Shrine and Well discovering the story of Saint Winefride and the reality of her life and faith,” said Bishop Brignall. “Inspired, enthused and invigorated they set off from Holywell across North Wales to the extreme westly point of Bardsey Island.”

Bishop Brignall believes this early stop on the route helped the celebrities prepare for the pilgrim journey ahead:

“For many the National Shrine of Saint Winefride’s is a pilgrimage destination, coming in faith to give thanks, praise and glory to God; for others to discover and seek restoration, healing and renewal.

“For these celebrities it was an immersion – a baptism even – into the pilgrim life they were about to lead. This, in microcosm, is life’s journey; a journeying together providing strength and support, delighting in the companionship of sharing discoveries and joys, sharing sorrows and weaknesses.”

The celebrity pilgrims embarked on a two-week, 220km adventure from Flint Castle on the bank of the Dee Estuary, across the foothills of incredible mountain ranges, and taking on England and Wales’ highest peak Yr Wyddfa, or Mount Snowdon.

Celebrity Pilgrims

A brief introduction to the seven pilgrims:

Wildlife presenter Michaela Strachan, who places her faith in the natural world; Spencer Matthews, a former reality TV star turned entrepreneur, who was christened Church of England but is still searching for answers to life’s big questions; Sonali Shah, a journalist and TV presenter who was raised in a Jain household; comedian Eshaan Akbar, a lapsed Muslim; Amanda Lovett, a practising Catholic, who catapulted to public attention in the first series of BBC’s The Traitors; actor Tom Rosenthal, star of Channel 4’s Friday Night Dinner, who calls himself ‘areligious’; and TV personality and former model, Christine McGuinness, who is spiritual but doesn’t practise one particular faith.


BBC Two broadcasts the first part of ‘Pilgrimage: The Road Through North Wales’ on Good Friday, 29 March, at 9pm. You can also catch-up, on-demand via BBC iPlayer.

Visit St Winefride’s Shrine website click HERE

Image Left to right: Tom Rosenthal, Amanda Lovett, Christine McGuinness, Bishop Peter Brignall, Spencer Matthews, Sonali Shah, Eshaan Akbar, and Michaela Strachan. Supplied by the BBC and used with permission.