Eduard C. Heyning

O Roma Nobilis

Poetry and music in the Kent Pilgrims' Festival

Poetry and music in the Kent Pilgrims

O Roma Nobilis – A Pilgrim’s Progress is a cycle of poems and music designed for sacred spaces, created by Victoria Field and Eduard Heyning. It will be performed five times, on five consecutive days in the beautiful historic churches along the Via Francigena linking Canterbury to Dover, as part of the Kent Pilgrims' Festival.


The performance explores the yearning underlying the pilgrim impulse, to walk, to connect with the earth, to reach a holy city. The poems take the theme of love – of the earth, of place, of walking, of the Divine, of each other - as they evoke pilgrimage and landscape. The live music ranges from medieval music, latin-american, cool jazz towards hard rock. The performance lasts approximately an hour.


To book: click on the logo or on the name of the church below.

Or search: kent pilgrims festival.


Tuesday 20th September 2022 7pm

St Martin's Church, Canterbury, CT1 1PW


Wednesday 21st September 2022 6.30pm

St Mary’s Church, Patrixbourne, CT4 5BP 


Thursday 22nd September 2022 3pm

St Margaret’s Church, Womenswold: CT4 6HG


Friday 23rd September 2022 7.30pm

St Andrew’s Church, Shepherdswell, CT15 7LF


Saturday 24th September 2022 6pm

St Mary’s Church, Dover, CT16 1BY 

The poetry and poetic prose in this piece draw on historic texts such as the account of Archbishop Sigeric’s journey in the tenth century, and the 12th century poem, O Roma Nobilis, as well as other pilgrim literature such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and contemporary events, including the recent Road to Rome relay of a newly-carved pilgrim staff. The music will reflect the words, the way, the walk, and the historical spaces on the way, by weaving together the melody of O Roma Nobilis with other songs of seeking and searching, from medieval music, latin-american, cool jazz to hard rock, performed live on clarinet or saxophone with backing: a non-verbal counterpart to the poetic voice.


Victoria Field is a writer and poetry therapist who has been widely published. Her latest books include a poetry collection, A Speech of Birds and a memoir of pilgrimage and marriage, Baggage: A Book of Leavings.  She is currently researching a doctorate in narratives of transformation in pilgrimage at Canterbury Christ Church University. She is a North Downs Way Ambassador. 

Eduard Heyning has degrees in music, theology and medieval history, composes and plays clarinets and saxophones. Their previous collaborations include A Canterbury Zodiac and Poppies, and samples from these can be found at this website.

They have presented their work in St Stephen’s and St Martin’s Churches in Canterbury, and in St John’s in Notting Hill alongside visual artist, Lillie Pirvellie. Together with poets, Derek Sellen and Mary-Anne Smith, they performed Inspired by the Moon in Rochester Cathedral to coincide with the Luke Jerram installation.