CHURCHES ALONG the north Wales Pilgrim’s Way are anticipating a surge of interest following the highly anticipated return of the BBC's Pilgrimage series.

Set amidst the stunning landscapes of North Wales, the sixth instalment, "Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales," is scheduled to premiere on Good Friday (March 29).

Taking part in the series are; Spencer Matthews, Michaela Strachan, Sonali Shah, Eshaan Akbar, Amanda Lovett, Tom Rosenthal and Christine McGuinness.

Created in 2011, the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way is linked by ancient churches dedicated to sixth and seventh century saints, but also takes pilgrims through outstanding places of natural beauty in the mountain ranges of Eryri, also known as Snowdonia, and the North Wales coast path.

Viewers can expect to see other familiar faces too, as three vicars from the Diocese of Bangor took part in the making of the series.

The new series promises a unique exploration of faith and spirituality as seven renowned personalities, representing diverse beliefs, embark on a modern-day pilgrimage along the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way.

The pilgrimage route, established in 2011, offers a blend of ancient churches and holy wells dedicated to early saints, with Bardsey Island - known as the 'Island of 20,000 saints' - as its final destination.

Revd Eryl Parry, Pioneer Priest based in the Conwy Valley and Chaplain on Bardsey met the pilgrims as they travelled to the remote hilltop church of St Celynnin, above Conwy, one of the oldest churches in Wales.

Rev Parry said: “Llangelynnin is often described as a thin place where heaven touches earth.

“We hope that this BBC Pilgrimage series will help people discover afresh the deep spirituality embedded in our Welsh landscape."

Dating back to the 12th century, Llangelynnin is situated next to a sixth century holy well and is a popular stopping-off place for pilgrims on the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way.

North Wales Pioneer: PIC: Views at Llangelynnin.

The pilgrimage began at Flint Castle, situated in the Diocese of St Asaph, on the banks of the Dee Estuary.

From there, the group embarked on their 220km adventure along the North Wales Pilgrim's Way, traversing through the picturesque landscapes.

As they progress, the pilgrims encounter challenging paths and climbs, navigating the foothills of majestic mountain ranges. Their route leads them into the Diocese of Bangor, where they are joined by the three priests from the Bangor Diocese, adding a spiritual dimension to their journey.

“Once you go on pilgrimage you never really come off it,” says the Ven. Chris Potter, one of the consultants for the programme.

In an interview with the Diocese of St Asaph, Chris explains the significance of Christian pilgrimage, he says: “You start a journey and your eyes start opening and then everything about life becomes a journey.

“Pilgrimage is both bliss and blisters. You’ve got to learn to take what comes. It’s an astonishing sensation that in this day of always scrolling through your phone or getting in your car, just to leave all that and to just walk is stunning.”

Reflecting on the making of the series, Chris said: “All seven pilgrims seem to have been very moved actually by the whole experience. They certainly bonded together as a group and they all got a lot out of it. It was a very moving and interesting time.

“The volunteer team behind the Pilgrim’s Way are very excited indeed and to have the route appearing nationally and internationally on television is very exciting.”

Two other priests from the Diocese of Bangor also had the opportunity to meet the celebrity pilgrims along the route.

Rosie Dymond, Ministry Area Leader, met the group at the pilgrimage site of Clynnog Fawr in Gwynedd, where the holy well near St Beuno’s Church was said to have healing properties.

At the fishing village of Aberdaron, historically the last stop for pilgrims on the way to Ynys Enlli, Revd Rhun ap Robert shared the spiritual significance of St Hywyn’s Church, a rest stop for pilgrims on their way to Ynys Enlli.