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The Crossway

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A BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' in 2018. In 2013 Guy Stagg made a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Though a non-believer, he began the journey after suffering several years of mental illness, hoping the ritual would heal him. For ten months he hiked alone on ancient paths, crossing ten countries and more than 5,500 kilometres. The Crossway is an account of this ext A BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' in 2018. In 2013 Guy Stagg made a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Though a non-believer, he began the journey after suffering several years of mental illness, hoping the ritual would heal him. For ten months he hiked alone on ancient paths, crossing ten countries and more than 5,500 kilometres. The Crossway is an account of this extraordinary adventure. Having left home on New Year’s Day, Stagg climbed over the Alps in midwinter, spent Easter in Rome with a new pope, joined mass protests in Istanbul and survived a terrorist attack in Lebanon. Travelling without support, he had to rely each night on the generosity of strangers, staying with monks and nuns, priests and families. As a result, he gained a unique insight into the lives of contemporary believers and learnt the fascinating stories of the soldiers and saints, missionaries and martyrs who had followed these paths before him. The Crossway is a book full of wonders, mixing travel and memoir, history and current affairs. At once intimate and epic, it charts the author’s struggle to walk towards recovery, and asks whether religion can still have meaning for those without faith.


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A BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' in 2018. In 2013 Guy Stagg made a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Though a non-believer, he began the journey after suffering several years of mental illness, hoping the ritual would heal him. For ten months he hiked alone on ancient paths, crossing ten countries and more than 5,500 kilometres. The Crossway is an account of this ext A BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' in 2018. In 2013 Guy Stagg made a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Though a non-believer, he began the journey after suffering several years of mental illness, hoping the ritual would heal him. For ten months he hiked alone on ancient paths, crossing ten countries and more than 5,500 kilometres. The Crossway is an account of this extraordinary adventure. Having left home on New Year’s Day, Stagg climbed over the Alps in midwinter, spent Easter in Rome with a new pope, joined mass protests in Istanbul and survived a terrorist attack in Lebanon. Travelling without support, he had to rely each night on the generosity of strangers, staying with monks and nuns, priests and families. As a result, he gained a unique insight into the lives of contemporary believers and learnt the fascinating stories of the soldiers and saints, missionaries and martyrs who had followed these paths before him. The Crossway is a book full of wonders, mixing travel and memoir, history and current affairs. At once intimate and epic, it charts the author’s struggle to walk towards recovery, and asks whether religion can still have meaning for those without faith.

59 review for The Crossway

  1. 3 out of 5

    Laura

    From BBC radio 4 - Book of the week: An epic journey, but also an intimate one. After several years of mental illness, Guy Stagg set off one morning, from London, to walk to Canterbury. Ill-prepared and not entirely clear why he was doing this, he nevertheless got there. Exhausted, he lay beneath the Cathedral walls and then decided to continue. A few months later, on New Year's Day, 2013, he set out from Canterbury to follow the paths of the medieval pilgrims to Jerusalem. Ten months and 5,500 ki From BBC radio 4 - Book of the week: An epic journey, but also an intimate one. After several years of mental illness, Guy Stagg set off one morning, from London, to walk to Canterbury. Ill-prepared and not entirely clear why he was doing this, he nevertheless got there. Exhausted, he lay beneath the Cathedral walls and then decided to continue. A few months later, on New Year's Day, 2013, he set out from Canterbury to follow the paths of the medieval pilgrims to Jerusalem. Ten months and 5,500 kilometres later, he arrived. This is the story of his walk. Danger and physical hardship lay in his path but he was also haunted by the memories that he sought to flee and ambushed by echoes of his breakdown. In five extracts from his account, this reading follows some of his experiences through snow and storm across the Alps, among other pilgrims in Italy, despairing and alone in Greece, and finally to the incessant rounds of competing worship in Jerusalem. It's a journey through the pathways of faith and recovery towards healing and understanding. In the first episode Guy leaves England for France, where the weather turns grim and the strangers are kind. Written by Guy Stagg Read by Jonathan Bailey Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed Produced by Jill Waters A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b6...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    This was recommended to me, and I'm glad it was because there was a lot to like in this account of Stagg’s (agnostic) pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. The way he related his journey to dealing with the aftermath of crisis and depression reminded me slightly of Richard Mabey’s excellent 'Nature Cure', although Mabey’s journey was more of an inward one. Stagg combines his personal journey with an account of those who came before, as well as their historical contexts, such as his fascinatin This was recommended to me, and I'm glad it was because there was a lot to like in this account of Stagg’s (agnostic) pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. The way he related his journey to dealing with the aftermath of crisis and depression reminded me slightly of Richard Mabey’s excellent 'Nature Cure', although Mabey’s journey was more of an inward one. Stagg combines his personal journey with an account of those who came before, as well as their historical contexts, such as his fascinating account of the Knights Templar. There were some sections where this intermingling of the historical with the present doesn’t quite come off and the personal fails to mesh with these (often dry) accounts but other sections that worked really well; I particularly enjoyed his coverage of Turkey and Cyprus, and it was a surprise to find Stagg meeting with Alev Scott (I read her 'Turkish Awakening' a while ago) almost as if I’d bumped into an old friend unexpectedly.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tweakiepop

    3.5*

  4. 4 out of 5

    Purple

    An amazing account of an amazing journey. Reflective, honest, thought provoking.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steve Streeter

    Thought provoking and reflective .. Guy Stagg opened up his heart and soul to share his journey - a beautiful meditation on pilgrimage

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jojo

    I always enjoy hearing about activities and events that I believe (or hope) I will never take part in myself. This pleasant account of a pilgrimage fulfilled this want.

  7. 3 out of 5

    sean exner baumann

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  9. 3 out of 5

    Doug Beagrie

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Greatrex

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peter North

  13. 5 out of 5

    sheila rowe

  14. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Smith

  15. 3 out of 5

    John O'Flaherty

  16. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  17. 4 out of 5

    Craig

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  19. 3 out of 5

    Gerard Murphy

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  21. 3 out of 5

    Dora

  22. 4 out of 5

    T

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Amatosi

  24. 5 out of 5

    geoff

  25. 5 out of 5

    Libby Thompson

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mole

  27. 3 out of 5

    Chris

  28. 4 out of 5

    Merete

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mi_er

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cierra Block

  31. 3 out of 5

    Amy Carew

  32. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (whatrachelread)

  33. 3 out of 5

    Juley

  34. 5 out of 5

    Lee

  35. 4 out of 5

    Gail Kennon

  36. 3 out of 5

    Jason

  37. 4 out of 5

    Ivor

  38. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

  39. 5 out of 5

    George Barnett

  40. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  41. 4 out of 5

    Malcolm Brown

  42. 3 out of 5

    Krysia

  43. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy Martin

  44. 4 out of 5

    Helen

  45. 3 out of 5

    Marilyn Rochat

  46. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

  47. 3 out of 5

    Pete Maude

  48. 5 out of 5

    Peter Maude

  49. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  50. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  51. 3 out of 5

    Joanna

  52. 4 out of 5

    Lauren D.

  53. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  54. 3 out of 5

    Ingrid

  55. 3 out of 5

    Lee

  56. 4 out of 5

    DinoC

  57. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Oosterbaan

  58. 4 out of 5

    Kimberley

  59. 5 out of 5

    Louise

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