Caldey Island, Wales

On Easter Monday, the Mormon Society of St. James will be embarking on its fifth annual major pilgrimage, this time to Rome. Pilgrimage has become something of a “hobby” for me and while one of the highlights of my year is the long yomp with the MSSJ crew, I also enjoy mini-pilgrimages whenever I have the chance.

Last summer I spend a day roaming around Caldey Island off the coast of western Wales. Caldey is home to a community of Trappist monks. Herewith a few snaps taken with my cheap phone:


Caldey Island seen from Tenby


A short boat trip brings you to the island


From the quay, a path leads up to the watchtower …


… where a crucifix is a reminder that this is a holy island


The priory was first built by Anglican Benedictines but now houses a Cistercian order. There has been a religious community on Caldey since the 6th century.


The Caldey Stone, written in Latin and Ogham, is testament to the island’s ancient Christian history

If life on Caldey appeals to you, the Order is recruiting.  Here are the requirements: “You need to be a Catholic, unmarried and not in a relationship, fit and in good mental and physical health, with no debts or dependents, with a reasonably well-balanced personality, generous, intelligent, with a sense of humour, and (usually) under 50.”

Unqualified though I am, I definitely saw the appeal.



  1. Looks like a great place. Really looking forward to the walk to Rome.

  2. Beautiful. And may the pilgrims this year be blessed.

  3. Kevin Barney says:


  4. Thanks, Ronan. I’d join up, but failure on all counts I’m afraid. (grin)

  5. Jason K. says:

    Thanks for this, Ronan. It brings back happy memories of walking Pembrokeshire on another mini-pilgrimage. Can’t wait to walk with you again!

  6. All because the disciples were obedient to Christ in going out into the world…


  7. Nothing about the honey and chocolates?

  8. charlene says:

    I’ve been so inspired by your reports that I have set a resolution this year to do a pilgrimage. I know that part of the value is in traveling with other pilgrims, but unfortunately will probably not make it to Rome next week. I yearn with holy envy.

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