WRITER, lay minister, and former teacher, turned part-time pilgrim Anne Hayward found the “rather drab” small parish church of St Erfyl in the Banwy Valley contains several interesting features that are worth stopping for rather than driving past as she had usually done, writes Barry Jones.

She included it in her journey walking around Wales to visit and celebrate some of the country’s holiest sites with her reflections, insights and experiences contained in her book 'A Pilgrimage Around Wales' subtitled 'In Search of a Significant Conversation'.

Anne, who lives in the Brecon Beacons, spent three months as a pilgrim in 2015, travelling on foot to visit some of Wales’ holiest sites and carrying everything she needed to camp along the route visiting churches and other places of interest along the way from Holywell down and round to St David’s, including using parts of Glyndŵr's Way, Offa’s Dyke Path, and the Wye Valley Walk, in Powys.

At Llanerfyl she finds an interchange of old Roman roads, an ancient yew tree and well, an ancient stone and the remains of a medieval shrine.

Another port of call is the rather more famous Pennant Melangell were she looks at its archaeological and literary heritages and proclaiming it a “soft, almost feminine place where gentleness is espoused”, and where there are "centuries-old features to admire”.

At Newtown she visits 'The Knitted Bible' at the Baptist Church but it is not just places and things that Anne discovers because her trek is also strewn with encounters with the people along the way, which she recounts with equal delight and making this an excellent introduction to what you might find walking through Wales.