Diocesan press releases

Discovering St David: a pilgrimage begins

The incoming Dean of St Davids is on her way to her cathedral…on foot

Revd Canon Dr Sarah Rowland Jones has embarked on a pilgrimage, as so many have done before, prior to her installation as Dean on May 5th

And her journey is taking in some of the most important places in the story of our patron saint, and also of her own family.

“Knowing that the heart of St Davids is pilgrimage, it made sense to me that I started my time there by arriving as a pilgrim,” she said.

It all started in Tregaron where, as a child, she first worshipped in Welsh, with her great-aunt, her godmother, a staunch member of St Caron’s Church, though the family had predominantly non-conformist roots.

From there, she walked the five miles to Llangeitho, the place where her illustrious forbear, revivalist preacher Daniel Rowland, was an Anglican minister for much of his adult life and from where he did much to help establish Methodism in Wales.


The next stop was Llanddewi Brefi where, according to legend, St David himself preached to a Synod of 150 bishops and where, because they could not hear him, he stepped on a handkerchief provided by a young boy and the ground rose up miraculously. The church of St David stands on the hill to this day. And it’s where Daniel Rowland received the calling that would change his life and that of many others

From there it was on to Henfynyw, south of Aberaeron, which is believed to be the place where St Davids was born, grew up and founded his first monastery.

Other stops on the way include the iconic Church of the Holy Cross at Mwnt, above Cardigan, the abbey church at St Dogmaels, St Brynach’s, Nevern, and the pilgrimage will conclude with Sarah’s arrival in St Davids in the days before her installation.